Bitewing Radiographs

Bitewing radiographs are indicated primarily to detect or monitorinterproximal caries if the proximal surfaces of the teeth cannot be visually ortactilely examined. Occlusal caries, crestal alveolar bone level andsecondarily for eruption patterns, caries and restoration proximity to pulpspaces, primary molar furcation pathology and developmental anomalies may alsobe detected with bitewing radiographs. The frequency of bitewingradiographic examination is based on caries risk assessment. As the riskstatus may change over time, the radiographic recall interval may change.A patient with a high caries risk assessment will require bitewing radiographsmore frequently (every 6 months) than a patient with a low caries riskassessment (12-24 months). Orientation of the film packet may bevertically or horizontally positioned. Placement of the film packet reveals thecoronal halves of the maxillary and mandibular teeth, interproximal contacts andportions of the interdental septa, beginning at distal of the canine andproceeding posteriorly to the mesial half of the last erupted molar. Oneto two films may be necessary depending on the tooth and jaw size.