An oral X-ray allows the dentist to see detailed images of specific sections of your mouth. X-ray film is traditionally developed in a darkroom, but a newer technique allows X-ray images to be sent to a computer and viewed on a screen.
Various types of oral X-rays are available, including:
- Bitewing. This type of X-ray allows the dentist to see the crowns of the upper and lower teeth. During a bitewing X-ray, you'll bite down on the X-ray film holder while the X-ray images are being taken.
- Periapical. This type of X-ray allows the dentist to see the tip of the root of a tooth.
- Occlusal. This type of X-ray allows the dentist to see the way the upper teeth and corresponding lower teeth fit together when the jaw is closed.
- Panoramic. This type of X-ray gives the dentist a comprehensive view of the entire mouth.