Though my patients and staff have not elevated me to superhero status... yet… I have access to one superpower:  X-Ray Vision (with a help of a few machines).

So what are all these types of radiographs used by dentists and what do they mean?

  1. The FMX or full-mouth x-ray series is a set of 18-24 individual small x-rays taken of the teeth up close. Usually taken once every five years, they show pathology of the roots of the teeth and immediate surrounding bone.  Abscesses, decay, tartar, and bone loss are visible on these x-rays.
  2. The PA or periapical x-ray is just one of the individual x-rays above. It is used to diagnose what is happening with the tooth below the gumline.
  3. BWX or bite wings show the part of the teeth above the bone. It gives detail on decay starting in between teeth.  Most dental office take these 4-6 radiographs once a year.
  4. The PANO or panoramic x-ray/ panorex is the x-ray most often used by oral surgeons. It shows the bone in both the upper jaw and lower jaw along with the canal housing the nerve that innervates the entire lower jaw.
  5. The Cephalograph is taken by orthodontists to measure growth patterns and skeletal anomalies. The landmarks seen on this x-ray help predict where the teeth should be.
  6. The I-CAT or CAT Scan shows “slices” of the jawbone from front to back. The volume of bone is most evident from this x-ray.  For this reason, it has become indispensable for implant placement.

These are just a few of the basic dental armamentarium.

Now….For that flying thing…..


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