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What are Bitewing Xrays and Why Do You Take Them?

The main purpose of Bitewing Xrays is to check in between your teeth for cavities. They can be taken with a sensor or film that is placed inside your mouth or by certain panoramic machines that have a bitewing setting. (The photo above is one taken with the panoramic machine). Ones taken on a panoramic machine also show the entire tooth, from chewing surface to root, for back teeth. Your front teeth are often obscured by the white stripe in the middle of the image. Bitewings taken with sensors or film tend to only show what dentists call the crown of your tooth (the chewing surface to about the level of your gums). 

Because for most adults, teeth have contact points where they touch each other, dentists cannot check these areas with their dental instruments and reliably find dental cavities. Bitewing xrays allow the dentist to see cavities when they are smaller and fill them before they cause you serious troubles.