Two common screening X-rays that allow us to determine if you have some gum disease or periodontitis are:
- Bitewings. These show us clearly if there has been any early bone loss as well as decay and any plaque retentive factors (things that make cleaning more difficult).
The normal level of bone support for a young healthy adult - this lies just below where the enamel stops (the whiter cap on the top of the tooth) i.e. where the tooth and root join. The further your bone support is down the root i.e. away from this point- the more attachment loss you have suffered and the more severe your periodontal disease.
Dentists classify the level of your disease by the amount of bone that has been lost and where the bone has been lost from. See- How severe is my gum disease.
- OPG. This provides a great general screening view of the whole mouth and jaws, showing the full extent of all the roots of the teeth- though the quality and clarity of the image isn’t as good as if PA’s are taken. It is sufficient in my opinion for most general dental situations, though certain specialists may like to supplement the view with other X-rays.
- Peri-Apical X-rays. Bitewings will only show us if there has been a small amount of loss of attachment of your teeth- so it may be necessary, if the disease is more severe to take a full view of the tooth, which this X-ray allows.