Dental radiographs are an important part of your dental care. They provide your dentist with a more complete view of what’s happening in your mouth. There are a lot of areas in the mouth that we can’t visually see like in between teeth, the roots of teeth, or developing tooth buds in children. Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save both time and money. At Montgomery Family Dental, all of our radiographs are digital. The use of digital dental radiographs produces instant high quality images directly to our computer. The computer software has tools that allow us to zoom, enlarge, change contrast, etc… The digital sensors used are more comfortable for our patients to hold in their mouth and absorb more scatter radiation compared to film. The exposure to radiation with digital radiographs is very low. The type of dental radiographs you have taken at your appointment depends on the frequency of your visits, your history of decay, your age and the condition of your mouth.
Bite-Wings (BWX): These radiographs at our office are taken usually once every 1-2 years to detect cavities in the back teeth or changes to supporting bone.
Periapical (PA): This radiograph usually highlights one or two teeth at a time. It shows us the complete tooth, including the root. We use these radiographs most often to check out localized concerns when a patient comes to us with a toothache or broken tooth.
Panoramic (PAN): This type of radiograph shows one image of your entire mouth including your sinus’ and TMJ joint. These radiographs are used to assess tooth bud development, wisdom teeth assessment, and oral cancer screening. Our office updates this radiograph about once every 5 years.
Cephalometric (CEPH): This radiograph is an image of the entire side of the head. It is used to look at the teeth in relation to the jaw and the person's profile. This radiograph is taken at our office during an ortho records appointment for patients needing orthodontic treatment (movement of teeth with braces or oral appliances).
Full Mouth Series (FMX or Complete Intra Oral Series): This set of radiographs is a combination of 4 Bite-Wings and 14 Periapicals to give us a complete picture of your mouth. A FMX may be taken instead of a PAN if we need more detailed images of all the teeth.
Cone Beam CT (CBCT): A CBCT image consists of 3D cross-sectional images of the jaws and teeth. These 3D images are needed in certain situations where more information is needed than what traditional dental radiographs provided. Some of those uses include dental implant planning, visualization of abnormal teeth, evaluation of the jaws and face, cleft palate assessment, diagnosis of dental caries (cavities), endodontic (root canal) diagnosis, and diagnosis of dental trauma.