Dental Xrays are a tool used to:
1) Find cavities which are between the teeth or are not visible to the naked eye.
2) Find cancer of the bone or the soft tissue. There are numerous types of tumors that can be found in the bone and soft tissue. Some are benign and some are malignant. Finding them early decreases the chance of damage to the tissue of the bone and soft tissue of the mouth or in the case of malignant tumors, metastasis. All can be dangerous if left untreated.
3) Find bone loss which is primarily caused by periodontal disease, but can have other causes. It is often overlooked by the patient because it dosen't always hurt. If not address, the periodontal disease can lead to bone loss and teeth can actually fall out. By catching the bone loss early you can minimize the damage to the bone and surrounding tissue. Bitewing xrays can show some areas of bone loss, but a full series of xrays or panorex xrays cover areas of the mouth that aren't visible with bitewing x-rays alone.