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The most common type of dental X-ray is called a “bitewing X-ray.” It is named that because of the wing-like, plastic tab that contains the film. It is placed inside your mouth and the dentist (or hygienist) tells you to bite down on it. Then, they angle the X-ray camera against your cheek and take the picture.

What it shows is the internal health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. It is a valuable tool for your dentist to be able to see decay or other oral issues in the hidden places that are not noticeable from a surface view.

Normally, X-ray pictures are needed from each side of the mouth so that both the upper and lower molars and bicuspids are shown. The images will immediately disclose any decay that is hiding between the back teeth. Such photographs are also used to establish proper alignment, and can also help to discover any bone loss due to advancing periodontal disease or serious infection. Another valuable revelation that the bitewing X-ray provides is the size and shape of the tooth within the gum and jawbone. This allows for exact measurement of root depth, which gives the dentist the ability to predict advancing periodontal disease.

The fact that bitewing X-rays supply such needed information, your dentist will normally want new bitewing X-rays taken at least once a year. Detection of cavities and decay inside and in between teeth would be much more difficult without this modern device.

If you’re past due for a dental x-ray, call Dr. Dr. Jackie Brown and our team at JC Brown DDS. You can make an appointment at: 901-758-1000, or come by our office in Germantown, Tennessee.