We use bitewing X-rays to find cavities between your teeth, tartar on the roots, worn-out fillings, receding bone levels caused by periodontal disease, and other conditions we cannot find with a clinical exam alone. Without Xrays, we wouldn't be able to detect these problems until they had become severe and caused serious damage.
To begin, we'll place a lead apron over your upper body to shield you while we take the X-rays. We'll place a small packet of X-ray film inside your mouth and ask you to bite on the tab on the side of the packet. Biting the tab lines the film up properly and allows us to get a picture of your upper and lower teeth at the same time.
Dental X-rays use high-speed film that allows us to minimize your radiation exposure. Though machines vary, the average set of bitewing X-rays adds only as much radiation as you'd get from about three extra weeks of natural background radiation.
Bitewing X-rays are a necessary part of regular dental checkups. They give us vital information that we can't get from any other source and allow us to treat dental problems before they cause serious damage to your teeth and mouth.