Young woman patient standing in x-ray machine. Panoramic radiography

Types Of Dental X-rays

There is a reason current x-rays are one of the first things a dentist looks for on your chart. Dental x-rays are essential to any and all dental care plans. X-rays help to diagnose many common dental ailments like cavities, gum disease, and even certain types of infection. X-rays also give your dentist a look at the health and structure of the supportive bone matter around the teeth.

The images created are only as good as the technology used. You want to make sure your dentist is using top of the line equipment and current methods for proper x-ray results. Here are the three types of x-rays you should understand:

Intraoral Digital X-rays

Intraoral x-rays are the most common dental x-ray. This is where the hygienist or assistant will insert small sensors into your mouth and have you bite down while he/she brings the machine around to take the images. These x-rays give your doctor quick access to high quality images of the teeth and jaw. These x-rays are most helpful to find cavities, see the root of each tooth, and watch the development of any growing teeth.

Digital Panographic X-ray

This x-ray is taken with a larger, more threatening looking machine. Don’t be fooled, it is painless and actually uses less radiation than the more common intraoral x-rays. You will be in a seated or standing position with a chin rest to keep your head in a careful position. The imaging machine will then circle around your head to gather the x-ray. Your job is to simply sit still and let technology work its magic.

It is always a good idea to step back and look at the big picture. A panographic image of the teeth will help dentists to understand the overall structure of your mouth. Teeth are unique to every person, giving dentists a nice fresh challenge. This type of x-ray will give your doctor better knowledge to treat your unique needs.

3-D Digital X-ray

Constant technological advancements are doing wonders for the world of dentistry. 3-D images are changing the way dentists see and diagnose problems. This type of imagery is so thorough, there is little to no worry that you will miss a thing. Every nook and cranny of your mouth will be exposed and therefore, properly cared for.

This x-ray is performed similar to the panographic: in a seated position while the machine works its way around you. You might think with such a thorough dental x-ray, the radiation must be through the roof. But using this technology we are actually able to use less radiation, giving you access to a quick diagnosis with less exposure.


At Eagle Rock Dental Care, we are very proud to offer the best in dental x-ray technology for our patients. We make sure your safety is top priority by reducing your exposure to radiation and still getting the best quality images for proper diagnosis and procedure. All three of the types of x-rays discussed are offered at our locations in southeastern Idaho. Contact us today and be sure to request your appointment online! We look forward to seeing you!