Caries Lesion Diagnosis: Bitewing Radiography

The most commonly used radiographic method for detecting caries lesions is the bitewing technique. It is meant to find lesions that are hidden from a clinical visual examination, such as when a lesion is hidden by an adjacent tooth, as well as help the dental professional estimate how deep the lesion is.2

To get the radiographic images, a central beam of X-rays is positioned to pass at right angles to the long axis of the tooth. If film is used, a beam-aiming device on the film holder guides the position, directing the beam at right angles to the film. However, digital radiography is replacing radiography based on film. It has been proven as accurate as traditional radiography for detecting caries, and it comes with additional advantages of using a lower radiation dose, being less time-consuming, and does not require wet chemicals in the processing of the image.2,19