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Bitewing X-Rays Are Crucial Elements of Preventative Care

Many dental problems, such as decay or gum disease, are not visible to the naked eye. All too often, these conditions will go undiagnosed until patients exhibit symptoms or sustain significant dental damage. To protect your long-term oral health, Dr. Stephen K. Malone and his team use digital bitewing x-rays. These x-rays will generate images of your teeth in a specific area of your mouth. In this way, they can reveal localized damage and even the smallest areas of decay. For optimal dental health, it is important to receive dental x-rays on a regular basis. Schedule an appointment to have bitewing x-rays taken at our Knoxville practice.

What Are Bitewing X-Rays?

Bitewing x-rays derive their name from the mouthpiece used during the process. You will bite down on an x-shaped device, which will position your teeth to provide a clearer image. Then the x-ray machine will emit electromagnetic waves. These waves will pass through your soft tissues, but your hard tissues will absorb the energy. In this way, x-rays can reveal images of your teeth and bones. Bitewing x-rays will show your upper and lower teeth in one particular section of your mouth. They will typically reveal your teeth from the tip of your crown to the top of the supporting bone. In most cases, you will not receive x-rays at every dental exam. Dr. Malone will schedule your x-rays based on your health needs, dental health history, and risk for dental damage.

The Importance of Bitewing X-Rays

With routine x-rays, Dr. Malone can identify serious dental concerns in the early stages. Then he can address these issues to preserve your healthy and beautiful smile. In particular, bitewing x-rays can reveal:

  • Cavities
  • Decay between teeth
  • Diminished bone density (the result of tooth loss or gum disease)
  • Compromised dental fillings
  • Poorly fitting dental crowns

Dr. Malone will explain these images, so you will stay completely up-to-date about your dental health. He will also use other x-rays to look for additional concerns. For example, panoramic x-rays can show widespread misalignment, impacted teeth, and other health conditions.

Safety of Bitewing X-Rays

Like many patients, you may be concerned about the dangers of radiation exposure. Rest assured that digital dental x-rays pose negligible risks. Additionally, because you will receive x-rays only occasionally, there really is little cause for concern. Nevertheless, Dr. Malone carefully adheres to all safety standards and state radiation requirements. He maintains proper records and equipment, and he will use a lead apron to further minimize your radiation exposure. If you are pregnant, tell Dr. Malone before you receive x-rays. Although the radiation will pose little risk for your baby, the dentist may delay taking x-rays, especially if you do not exhibit symptoms of decay or gum disease.

Schedule an Exam

Be proactive about your dental health. Contact us today to schedule your routine exam and bitewing x-rays. Dr. Malone provides outstanding preventative care to patients in Powell, Karns, Farragut, Seymour, Maryville, Oak Ridge and the surrounding communities.