If you’ve ever been to the dentist before, then you know that one of the most important aspects of the exam is the X-ray. The images from the X-ray help the dentist see issues hiding within your teeth or underneath the gumline, and they can recommend the appropriate course of treatment to save you from cavities, decay, and tooth loss. X-rays are often taken once a year, and there are four basic types of X-rays that a dentist will perform. At Great American Smiles in Austin, we believe in providing every patient with exceptional dental care, and know that X-rays are an integral part of that.

Four Common X-Ray Types


Bite-wing X-rays are rather self-explanatory, and are taken by the patient biting down on a tab with their teeth. The dentist or hygienist will then point the X-ray machine at the side of the face, which produces images that show how well the upper and lower teeth line up, how these teeth touch (occlusion), and if there is decay in the molars.


Periapical X-rays create an image of the entire tooth, from the root to the crown. These X-rays are important in that they show if there are problems lurking below the gums, and if a patient could have an abscess or a cyst.


Panoramic X-rays are also aptly named, as they take a panoramic image of the teeth, jaw, sinuses, and nasal area. These X-rays are important for those who may need dentures or dental implants, or who may have questions about orthodontic treatment.


Occlusal X-rays take an image of the bottom of the mouth to display the bite and function of the upper and lower jaw. This type of X-ray can be beneficial for children to show how their baby teeth are growing or if their permanent teeth are ready to erupt.
If you have questions about dental X-rays, or you want to schedule an exam, please contact us today!