However, having intraoral bitewings taken requires the patient to bite down on the sensor in order to take the x-ray, and this is often uncomfortable for all patients. The sensors can be a “sharp” feeling in the mouth and can be irritating to the gums and roof of the mouth.
Extraoral bitewing x-rays also make patient positioning easier, which is beneficial to both the dental team and the patient. Typically, patients can either stand or sit during a panoramic x-ray, which can help reduce patient movement and the need to reposition. This can overall provide an improved x-ray experience for patients.
Extraoral bitewing x-rays offer the benefit of only having one step and not having to reposition a sensor or film inside the patient’s mouth. With intraoral bitewings, the dental professional must position and reposition the sensor in the patient’s mouth, with the possibility of human error. This can increase the amount of time that the patient is in the office. Overall, extraoral bitewing x-rays are faster because the need for positioning a sensor is eliminated.
However, while extraoral bitewing x-rays have many benefits, research suggests that intraoral x-rays are better at finding cavities, decay between teeth, and changes in the bone density that is caused by gum disease.
The downside to extraoral bitewing x-rays is that often the dental x-ray units that are able to complete them with a panoramic view are often significantly more expensive machines. This means that in terms of price for the dental practice, intraoral bitewing x-ray equipment may be the better choice if they are looking for a less expensive unit.
If your dental practice is interested in purchasing an intraoral sensor, Capital Dental Equipment offers six manufacturers to choose from with a range in prices. Our sales team is available to help work with you on determining which sensor would work best with your current imaging software.
If you are looking for adding a dental x-ray unit with panoramic and extraoral bitewing capabilities, Capital Dental Equipment offers both new and recertified equipment. All recertified dental units offer savings of up to 35-40% off and include machines from the following manufacturers: RayScan America, VaTech, PlanMeca, Carestream, Sirona, and Gendex.