If you've been to the dentist, you've likely gotten bitewing X-rays. This type of X-ray is the most common for dental purposes. It is usually taken during a comprehensive exam and at intervals to check on any issues or track an area's progress in the mouth. However, you may have wondered why these X-rays are essential and how they work. 

The Importance of Bitewing X-Rays

Bitewings are important to take because of the breadth of dental issues that they can show, making them an essential diagnostic tool for your dentist. Bitewings are used to examine the back teeth in your mouth. These teeth can be tough to examine thoroughly because of their location. 


Because of that difficulty, bitewing X-rays act as a crucial diagnostic tool. They can show decay that is located between teeth, whether your gums are in any of the stages of gum disease, issues with alignment, potential bone loss, and the root depth of each tooth. 

The Process of Having a Bitewing X-Ray Taken

These X-rays are named because the paper or plastic tab attached to the film you are biting down on is called a bitewing loop. These tabs ensure that rather than directly biting the film, the film is instead hovering between your teeth. 

Usually, four films are taken, which capture the top and bottom, left and right, segments of your back teeth. These images capture the molar furthest back in your mouth up to your canines. 

If a deeper view of the teeth is needed, more films may be necessary. In this case, bitewings are adjusted 180 degrees. This allows more imaging of the bone structure itself.  


One of the essential aspects of dental care is scheduling regular dental exams and cleanings. Turn to the team at Bream Family Dental Care to ensure that your smile stays healthy and bright. This dentist provides a range of dental services to families throughout Waynesboro, VA. Call (540) 949-7246 to schedule an appointment. You can also visit their website to learn more about their team.