Extraoral Bitewings: When Are They Beneficial?

Dental professionals and patients alike are talking about extraoral bitewings. A recent innovation in the dental industry, extraoral bitewings were designed as a comfort-focused alternative to traditional intraoral X-ray systems.

Extraoral bitewings don’t require sensors or film in the patient’s mouth, minimizing the discomfort and gag reflexes often associated with traditional X-rays. Today, many sensitive patients, including those in pediatrics, are learning about extraoral bitewings and preferring dental practices that use them.

Hygienists and operators now using extraoral bitewings appreciate the feedback they get from their patients, and also mention the time that it takes to acquire a scan is comparable to traditional scans. The conveniences and advantages don’t end there. 2D dental imaging systems with extraoral imaging programs minimize cross-contamination risk as well as radiation dose while simultaneously providing the same high-quality images as traditional X-rays.

If you’re evaluating extraoral bitewings for your practice, but are unsure where to start, consult our detailed guide below.

Extraoral vs. Intraoral Bitewings: What’s the Difference?
In many cases, diagnostic intraoral bitewings provide less anatomical detail than extraoral. This is due in part to extraoral’s 360 degrees of rotation, which applies exposure through the mandible in panoramic imaging.

This feature drastically improves the paralleled image to the dentition which is captured by film, sensors, and/or phosphor plates. On the other hand, intraoral images are often 20 Lp/mm while extraoral images are typically 9.6-11.4 Lp/mm, making the intraoral sharper while the extraoral images have more depth of field.

For Pediatric Offices
The low radiation dose on extraoral bitewing panoramic machines assist pediatric dental offices because it helps minimize exposure to younger patients. The comfortable bite also assists them to stay still and calm, which leads to a decreased need for retakes. Extraoral bitewing panoramic machines are quickly becoming the standard of care for many pediatric offices.

Additional Uses
Regardless of your practice type, there are patients who are sensitive to traditional intraoral X-rays. The most common reasons are:

●A sensitive gag reflex

●Claustrophobia (traditional bitewings make them feel like they’re being smothered)

●Small mouths

●Large mandibular tori (this prohibits placing the sensor in the patient’s mouth)

For these cases, it’s recommended that you educate patients about your extraoral bitewing option. These machines are specifically designed for patient comfort, so they can have peace of mind going into their next scan.

Types of Extraoral Bitewings
Dental X-ray machine manufacturers have developed two types of extraoral bitewings: segmented and diagnostic.

Some of the aforementioned models capture solely segmented extraoral images. One of these images is created by taking a regular digital panoramic X-ray, then segmenting out two separate bitewings.

Diagnostic extraoral bitewing images, which are offered by leading manufacturers such as Planmeca, however, incorporate a complex movement during panoramic rotation. This rotation follows the curvature of the mandible during image capture.

After these steps, bitewings are then separated out on a panoramic image-like view. They are typically far more accurate than segmented extraoral bitewing images.

The Renew Digital Difference
If you’re considering adding extraoral bitewing machines to your practice,consider your next purchase through Renew Digital. Renew Digital offers certified pre-owned dental imaging equipment that can save you up to 30-50% off new list prices on dental panoramic X-ray machines.

Browse through their wide range of panoramic dental X-ray machines enabled for extraoral bitewings today. Their dedicated and knowledgeable customer service team can assist you in narrowing down your choices to find the best fit for you, and offer current availability and pricing information. Give their dedicated customer service team a call today at 888-246-5611.

For more information about Panorex X-Ray Machine and I-Cat Cbct Please visit: Renew Digital, LLC.

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