Ron Nourian DDS
Ron Nourian DDS

Blog Post

Types of Dental X-rays

Have you ever wondered why your dentist took a variety of different types of dental x-rays? They all serve a different purpose and reflect imaging aspects that other types of x-rays do not.

Here’s a basic breakdown of the types of radiographs that you might see in our practice:

Panoramic Films

This is a one-size, full mouth x-ray that provides an overall assessment of your teeth, jaw, and surrounding oral anatomy. You may be coming in for a smile makeover to get porcelain veneers or just a wisdom tooth consultation, and the panoramic may be used in lieu of your FMX every 3-5 years.

FMXs (Full Mouth Series)

An FMX shows us a higher level of detail of each of your teeth, with greater resolution than a panoramic film. It’s made up of approximately 20-30 films (both PA and bitewing.) These are usually taken during new patient exams and every 3-5 years after.


One of the most commonly taken x-rays in our practice are bitewings. These films show us the areas between your back teeth…where you’re the most prone to get cavities. Most people have them taken once a year.

Periapicals (PAs)

PAs allow us to see the area around the tip of your root. That way we can determine if there is an infection in or around your tooth. We might also use this film if you’re having a particular tooth worked on, such as getting a filling or porcelain veneers.

Dr. Nourian routinely uses x-rays to help him examine areas that aren’t visible during your clinical exam. As your trusted dentist in Sherman Oaks, we only recommend having films made when absolutely necessary. You’ll be happy to know that we use low-radiation digital equipment to ensure your comfort and safety. For further information or questions please contact Ron Nourian DDS at (818) 986-7531 or visit