Dental X-Rays

X-rays Are Critical Dental Technology

Getting dental X-rays is a vital part of both your appointment and your dental care in general. You may not need them every six months, but we may require a new series if you haven’t had any taken recently, to prepare for treatment, or when any significant changes in your mouth have taken place. To schedule a dental checkup in San Jose, CA, contact our office today at (408) 532-0435.

Types of X-rays

Dental X-rays come in a few varieties, each with a distinct purpose in assisting diagnosis and treatment planning.

Bitewing X-rays

These capture minute details of the molars and bicuspids in the back of the mouth. They are especially useful for examining the chewing surface (crown) of the tooth, identifying cavities between teeth, as well as other changes that may be present.


Periapical X-rays show the complete teeth (including the roots) in one area of the mouth. The primary purpose of this type is to examine the roots of teeth and the adjacent supporting jaw bone.

Occlusal X-rays

This variety helps monitor the overall alignment of teeth, especially in developing children. They provide a view of an entire arch of teeth (top or bottom) in one image.


Panoramic provides an even more comprehensive view, showing all the teeth (top and bottom) in a single image. Also capturing a view of the surrounding jaw, they are useful for detecting alignment problems, impacted teeth, as well as tumors.

3D Cone Beam

These X-rays provide a complete view of your entire mouth, visualized in a computer-built, three-dimensional model. They are also often used to view the entire cranial (head) structure.

What About Radiation?

Some people have apprehension when it comes to dental X-rays due to the unwarranted belief that they deliver harmful levels of radiation. On the contrary, they use minimal radiation and are some of the least invasive compared to other medical varieties, such as chest or abdominal scans.