Accidentally discovered on November 8, 1895 by German physics professor Wilhelm Röntgen, X-rays have been a staple of modern medicine ever since. Since that time, many improvements to the delivery of X-ray radiation have been made, and today, exposure has been minimized dramatically. In fact, digital X-rays, which deliver even less radiation than traditional film-based X-rays, have quickly become commonplace in dental offices throughout the world.
With this dental procedure code, a full mouth series of X-rays is taken. This is done to get an accurate picture of all the teeth in the mouth as well as the alveolar bone that surrounds each tooth in the jaw. Both periapical X-rays that capture the tooth from the crown to the apex (or, tip) of the root are used as well as the more common bitewing X-rays common during a comprehensive oral evaluation. While dependent on the total number of teeth you have, this procedure typically involves obtaining X-ray imagery of anywhere from 12 to 20 individual images.
It is worth noting that in this dental procedure code, the word “film” is used interchangeably to represent both digital and traditional film-based X-rays, since the service code does not discriminate between either process.