Many oral health issues, such as oral tumors, non-erupted wisdom teeth, infections, and a cavity between the teeth, are nearly impossible to see with the naked eye. This is the reason that Dr. Gabriel Sangalang and Dr. Patricia Villalta use digital dental X-rays that do not use any form of radiation. This allows your dentist to receive immediate results so she can begin your treatment planning right away.
Different Types of Dental X-rays
Dr. Sangalang or Dr. Villalta will use a specific type of X-ray depending on your potential oral health issue. The following types are the most common:
- Bitewing: A bitewing X-ray provides your dentist with a detailed view of the alignment between your upper teeth and lower teeth. It also helps to highlight decay between teeth. Finding this type of decay as early as possible is important because many people have difficulty keeping the area between teeth clean.
- Occlusal: This is the least commonly used type of digital dental X-ray at All Smiles Big and Small. Your dentist would use this type for very specific reasons, such as locating a cyst or abscess, determining if you have a foreign object or extra teeth in your mouth, diagnosing a jaw fracture, and diagnosing a cleft palate.
- Periapical: Although this type of X-ray is similar to the bitewing, it provides your dentist with greater detail about each tooth. Dr. Sangalang or Dr. Vallalta can see your tooth in its entirety from the top of the crown to the end of the root. Your dentist would use this type when attempting to locate an oral tumor, cyst, or abscessed tooth.
- Radiographic: Also called a panoramic X-ray, this type gives Dr. Sangalang or Dr. Villalta a more complete view of your entire mouth. This includes all teeth, your upper and lower jaws, and the sinus cavities. A radiographic or panoramic X-ray is a good option for patients who will be starting orthodontic treatment as well as those who could possibly have an oral tumor, fractured tooth, or impacted tooth.
If your X-ray does uncover a specific problem, your next step is to schedule a follow-up appointment for treatment of the issue. Your dentist will explain why she is using a specific type of X-ray as well as let you know the results right away. Without digital dental X-rays, you could go for months or years with an un-diagnosed oral health problem that would only get worse. Early detection typically enables your dentist to pursue the most conservative form of treatment as well.