Why do Orthodontists Take X-rays?

An orthodontist can tell a lot about your jaw and teeth just when you smile. But, there’s a lot more than meets the eye underneath the surface of your teeth and gums.

A general dentist will take “bitewing” x-rays to check your teeth for cavities, infection, or any restorative needs. An orthodontist will take a “panoramic x-ray,” which shows all of your teeth and the structure of your mouth.

Panoramic X-rays

With a panoramic radiograph, or x-ray, our orthodontists can see the bone structure of our patient’s facial bones and jaw, the placement of teeth, and the direction of any forming teeth. With the information found on the panoramic radiograph, our orthodontists can create a treatment plan to correct any abnormalities.

a close-up of a fetus

Cephalometric X-ray

This is a special x-ray that helps us to diagnose how your teeth fit within your jaws and how your jaws fit with each other. It is critical to understand the growth and development of the teeth and their relationships with the jaws so that we can decide how to best give you that beautiful, functional smile.

a person's foot in a plastic container

Hand wrist X-ray

Why do we care about your hand if we work in your mouth? The hand is full of skeletal maturation markers that help us figure out where you are in your growth and development. This helps us to determine the best time to treat with braces. It’s also neat to see how much you may grow!

a close-up of a human hand

Creating Treatment Plans

Panoramic, cephalometric, hand wrist, and other x-rays can provide a significant amount of information including how jaws, facial bones, and teeth are forming. By gathering this information, orthodontists can begin to create a treatment plan to correct the alignment of teeth and jaws.

Are X-rays Dangerous?

With each x-ray, the patient is exposed to a minimal amount of radiation. The minimal amount of radiation is not something to worry about. We are exposed to radiation at all times of the day in life; a quick x-ray is only equal to a few days of background radiation. According to the National Health Service (NHS), this is equal to less than 1 in a million chances of developing cancer.

Free Consultation

At Hillam Orthodontics, we offer free consultations that include x-rays, an exam, and a treatment plan. If you’re looking to gain the smile of your dreams, start at Hillam Orthodontics! Schedule a free consultation with us today.

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Why Hillam Orthodontics?

Board-certified Orthodontists
Offices in Idaho Falls, Driggs, & Afton
3 generations of doctors practicing since 1966

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