X-rays, also known as radiographs, are an important part of dental care and treatment planning. They can help prevent potential oral care issues in a patient's mouth before they become major issues. X-rays allow the dentist to see inside a tooth and beneath the gums to asses the health of the bone and supporting tissue that hold teeth in place. They also help the dentist diagnose common problems such as, cavities, gum disease and some types of infection.
The most common types of X-rays performed in a dental surgery are, periapical, bite-wing and panoramic.
A periapical x-ray provides a view of the entire tooth, from the crown right down to the bone that supports the tooth.
A bite-wing shows both the lower and upper posterior teeth and helps determine if there is decay between the back teeth. This type of x-ray also shows the dentist how the teeth come together.
A panoramic x-ray shows the teeth, jaw, nasal area and sinuses, showing the dentist the whole mouth. If your wisdom teeth were impacted you would need this kind of x-ray to see them.
These x-rays are typically performed in a dental surgery. Firstly, you will be covered with a heavy apron to protect your body from radiation. Next, the dentist will insert the x-ray into your mouth and ask you to bite down on it - this holds the x-ray in place. The dentist will then proceed to take an x-ray picture of the targeted area. This is a pain free process and will be repeated until all teeth that are of concern have been x-rayed.
Ian, the Mosman dentist. Dentist Mosman.