Basics and Benefits of Dental X-Rays

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Basics and Benefits of Dental X-Rays

Many trips to the family dentist are just a quick check and a free toothbrush, but there are many cases where a pediatric dentist will have to do more. One such scenario is when X-rays are necessary.

At Walker Pediatric Dentistry, we’ll walk your child through the reasons for their X-ray, and any safety precautions we’ll be taking for them. Why are dental X-rays important, and what do they help prevent? Let’s take a look.

Life Without X-Rays

Most people aren’t aware of it, but did you know that the dentist can only see roughly one third of a given tooth with the naked eye? That leaves a whole lot of tooth surface that could be hiding negative issues, including growing cavities or decay. There are several methods potentially available to your dentist to view the areas that aren’t visible here, and one of the most comprehensive and detailed is the X-ray.


There are two primary types of tooth X-ray that your child might receive:

  • Bitewing: These are close-up images of the teeth that can show issues like cavities. In most cases, to show both rows of teeth in full detail, it usually takes four separate bitewing X-rays.
  • Panoramic: Panoramic X-rays show all the teeth and jaw bones, and help identify any issues with the jaw bones, jaw joints or tooth roots.

What They Help Prevent

Dental X-rays can help identify several potential issues in the mouth, and can show dentists the parts of the teeth that they’re generally unable to access with simpler methods. Issues that are often identified first by X-rays include:

  • Cavities and tooth decay found in between teeth
  • Bone disease
  • Gum disease
  • Infections under the gums (often very tough to locate normally)

X-rays can also be a big help with alignment – they can identify issues with the upper and lower teeth and how they line up, allowing dentists to make fixes here before issues become more serious.

To learn more about X-rays or any of our pediatric dental services, speak to the service staff at Walker Pediatric Dentistry today.