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Have you had an X-ray taken of your teeth? The most common type is called a “bitewing X-ray.” This is because of its appearance. It looks wing-like, and it is a plastic (or cardboard) tab with X-ray film inside. The dentist’s assistant or hygienist places it strategically inside your mouth and asks you to bite down while they angle and position the X-ray camera against your cheek to take the image.

The finished film reveals the internal health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. This is a most valuable tool! Without it your dentist could not see hidden decay or other oral issues in areas that are not readily seen with the naked eye.

These pictures are needed from each side of the mouth in order that both the upper and lower molars and bicuspids are shown. Besides obvious decay, such stills help to establish proper alignment of the teeth and jaw. They can also discover serious gum disease issues and bone loss due to 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 Drs. Eseoghene and Rita Okugbaye and our team at Alvarado Family Dentistry. You can make an appointment at: 888-635-6401, or come by our office in Alvarado, Texas.