Dentists use x-rays to look closely at a patient’s teeth, bone, and surrounding structures in the mouth. They use x-ray films to identify cavities, evaluate roots, and check the growth of teeth that have not erupted yet. Every child is different, so the need for dental x-rays can vary. A pediatric dentist can explain their recommendation and make sure you are comfortable with the procedure and safety.

These are the four types of dental x-rays:

Bite-wing

Bite-wings show the upper and lower back teeth in a single view. Dentists can use these to check that the top and bottom teeth line up and to look for any cavities between the teeth.

Occlusal

Occlusal films show the floor of the mouth and the bite of the upper and lower jaw. These also show the development of adult and baby (primary) teeth.

Periapical

This type of dental x-ray shows the entire tooth from the crown past the root where the tooth is attached.

Panoramic

A panoramic x-ray shows the entire mouth in one 2D image. Dentists can look closely at the teeth, upper and lower jaws, bone structure, and surrounding tissues.

There is nothing to fear from a dental x-ray, and the images are helpful for total mouth care.  Dental x-rays are safe and painless, and an important way for the pediatric dentist to provide the best care.