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Dental x-rays are also called radiographs. Your dentist may take dental x-rays if you’re a new patient, haven’t been seen in a while, or are in for a follow-up visit after dental treatment. Despite using mirrors and shining a bright light into your mouth, we can’t see everything. Dental x-rays are valuable because they can detect damage to teeth and the bone supporting teeth that I can’t see during a routine visual examination. About half of cavities are diagnosed from x-rays. Dental x-rays can show the condition of your teeth, their roots, jaw placement, and your facial bones. Dental x-rays also reveal cavities, abscesses, and abnormal growths like cysts and tumors.
Cone Beam CT
Dental cone beam computed tomography (CT) is a special type of x-ray machine used in situations where regular dental or facial x-rays are not sufficient. This type of CT scanner uses a special type of technology to generate three dimensional (3-D) images of dental structures, soft tissues, nerve paths and bone in the craniofacial region in a single scan. Images obtained with cone beam CT allow for more precise treatment planning. Here are a few examples, when a CBCT is required: surgical planning for impacted teeth, diagnosing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), accurate placement of dental implants, evaluation of the jaw, sinuses, nerve canals and nasal cavity.