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The Importance Of Dental X-Rays And Bitewing X-Rays In The Early Detection Of Tooth Decay
If you’re wondering about the importance of dental and bitewing x-rays, let’s start with the basics. Dental x-rays and radiography for preventative dentistry can’t be underestimated. Dental radiography is essential in diagnosing dental caries, also known as cavities and periodontal disease. There are lots of different types of x-rays, but evidence suggests that bitewing x-rays are ideal for diagnosing the extent of dental decay and bone loss, especially in the back teeth.
Dental caries doesn’t cause any pain or discomfort initially, so patients don’t take them seriously. But left untreated, dental cavities can gradually expand and spread, eventually leading to severe dental infections and the loss of teeth. Once dental caries go past the outer enamel and reach the pulp chamber, you must undergo root canals or tooth extractions. If your dentist catches the earliest signs of dental caries, they can treat the condition with relative ease. You must undergo regular bitewing x-rays to maintain optimal oral health.
This article answers your questions about bitewing x-rays and preventative dentistry.
What Are Bitewing X-Rays? What Are Bitewing Radiographs?
Bitewing x-rays, also known as bitewing radiographs, are cutting-edge dental x-ray techniques. The name “bitewings” is derived from the small tabs that patients have to bite down on during the examination to hold the sensor in place. When you bite down on the piece of paper, the dentist can see how the crowns of your teeth match up. If cavities or irregularities are in your bite, the radiograph image will make them prominent. This is one of the most reliable and accurate means of taking x-rays because the images are clear and free from distortions.
In some cases, the dentist may also administer vertical bitewings, taking images with the sensors placed vertically. Vertical bitewings show the volume and density of your bone, facilitating the optimal evaluation of gingival and periodontal health. Bitewing images usually come with four images that capture all the quadrants of your teeth, including the premolars and molars. When it comes to small children, the dentist only needs one bitewing per side. Bitewing radiographs provide the most accurate and clear images of your teeth, gum tissues, and bone, allowing the dentist to diagnose cavities and gum disease.
What Teeth Are Bitewings?
The term “bitewing” refers to the fact that you must bite down on a strip of paper for the device to capture your imagination. The bitewing radiograph captures the upper and lower teeth in one part of your mouth, so multiple bitewing images are necessary to capture all teeth.
Are Bitewing X-Rays Necessary?
Traditional dental x-rays are excellent at capturing visually accessible tooth surfaces to identify cavities and potential irregularities. But traditional dental radiographs can’t capture the contacting surfaces of the back teeth, and that’s where most people get dental cavities and caries. Bitewing x-rays are the most effective means of visualizing the contacting surfaces of the back teeth, thus allowing the dentist to diagnose and treat dental caries in the molars and premolars at an early stage.
Bitewing x-rays allow you to maintain optimal oral health and prevent severe dental infections. Most dental caries starts from the outermost layers of your teeth, i.e., the enamel. Treating dental caries at an early stage is simple — the dentist can remove the infected parts of your teeth and place dental fillings. But since the enamel doesn’t contain any nerve endings, you don’t feel any pain. If you don’t get bitewing x-rays, the dental cavity may spread until it reaches the pulp chamber, which may lead to severe toothaches.
When you experience severe toothaches, it’s already too late for dental fillings. Once the dental infection reaches the root canal or pulp chamber, you only have two possible options — root canals or tooth extraction. If you visit the dentist promptly, they can remove the infected parts of your teeth and perform a root canal to prevent the infection from spreading. But the dentist may also have to remove the complete tooth in some cases. Bitewing x-rays can help you avoid such possibilities.
How Often Should Bitewing X-Rays Be Taken?
The frequency of your bitewing radiographs will depend on numerous factors, including age, the risk of dental cavities, oral habits, dental anatomy, and other factors. Young children and adults with a high risk of cavities should undergo bitewing x-ray evaluations every 6 to 12 months. Individuals with a lower risk of cavities can undergo bitewing x-rays once every 1 to 2 years. Your dentist will determine how frequently you need dental checkups and x-rays for optimal oral health.
What Are The Other Types Of Dental X-Rays?
- Periapical Radiograph: Periapical dental x-rays focus on one or two teeth from root to crown.
- Panoramic X-Ray: Panoramic dental x-rays can identify problems associated with wisdom teeth, jaw problems, and implanted dental devices.
- Occlusal X-Ray: This type of dental x-ray allows you to see how the upper and lower teeth align and detect anatomical abnormalities related to the mouth.
How Much Are Dental X-Rays?
The cost of dental x-rays depends on numerous factors, including the number of images, the type of dental x-rays, and more. Your dentist will inform you about the cost of dental x-rays before the evaluation.
Schedule An Appointment For Bitewing X-Rays At Our Dental Clinic In Houston, Tx, 77007
URBN Dental is a state-of-the-art group of dental clinics specializing in cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment processes. Our dental clinic is led by highly-skilled dental specialists who use the most advanced techniques to identify and treat dental cavities and periodontal disease at the earliest stage possible. Our dental clinic is located at 3201 Allen Pkwy, Houston, making it ideal for patients in and around the Museum District, West University Place, and Upper Kirby. Please schedule an appointment for bitewing x-rays at our dental clinic in Houston.