As the most common x-rays in the dental industry, bitewing digital x-rays are a necessary procedure during a patient’s regular dental checkup. This intraoral x-ray uses a sensor inside a patient’s mouth to produce a photo of both the upper and lower teeth, and offers an array of benefits to both the dentist and the patient, as it can deliver valuable information regarding a variety of oral conditions. Following is a list of advantages to patients who patronize a dentist who utilizes bitewing digital x-ray radiography.


Because bitewing digital x-rays show both the upper and lower set of teeth, as well as provide a high level of detail and the capability to enhance an image, dentists can easily examine slides for conditions like cavities between teeth, tartar on tooth roots, weakened or broken fillings and crowns and receding bone levels as a result of periodontal disease. Dentists can use the expert technology to zoom in or improve the clarity of the bitewing digital x-ray on a computer screen, guaranteeing the best possible view of a patient’s teeth and surrounding area.

Early Detection

Having a clear view with an elevated level of detail translates into better service for the patient, as his or her treatment needs are able to be established and corrected promptly. Contrary to film x-rays, digital x-rays are sent directly to a computer where it can be viewed instantly as well as enlarged. These immediate results, along with the ability for slides to be expanded and analyzed, will help the dentist detect an early cavity or problem. Catching these issues early, often before the patient has any pain, ensures a small concern is remedied before it becomes a larger issue.


Radiation exposure using bitewing digital x-rays is minimal, often quoted as being 80 percent less than conventional methods of dental x-rays involving film. While the levels of radiation associated with bitewing digital x-rays are low, dentists still take precautions to limit patients’ exposure by only taking x-rays when needed and by placing a lead apron on the patient to shield his or her body from the energy. Digital x-rays are also more environmentally friendly as they don’t require hazardous chemicals to process film as traditional x-rays do.

Patient Comfort

Bitewing digital x-rays require fewer retakes as a result of under- or overexposure or positioning errors, both problems often associated with conventional film x-ray technology. This, in turn, signifies less radiation exposure to the patient and less time spent with uncomfortable sensor equipment in his or her mouth. Also, because bitewing digital x-rays are captured electronically, patients can spend less time in the dental chair waiting on a staff member to develop film.

Data Collection

Just as bitewing digital x-rays can be viewed effortlessly on a computer, a patient’s records can be easily stored in computer files as well. Not only is this advantageous to the dentist, who no longer has to keep hundreds of paper charts for his or her clients, but the ease of distributing digital images to other dentists, doctors or insurance companies that may need to be privy to a patient’s history is beneficial. Now dentists can easily transfer x-rays to other experts, taking away the headache of transporting physical x-rays to other practitioners.

Experts in using bitewing digital x-rays, Dr. Philip J. Lips and his team at TLC Dentistry have been serving the city of Salinas and the Monterey Peninsula for more than 50 years. The practice is the leading source for dental care in the area, providing general and cosmetic dentistry for the whole family in an up-to-date dental facility and a relaxing environment.