Bitewing x-rays are the routine x-rays that the dentist takes to check for cavities in between the teeth. These x-rays are important because tiny cavities can be spotted when they first start forming. Catching cavities at that stage is extremely helpful in catching decay while it is small and easily treated with just a filling. If a cavity gets large enough that it can be seen with the naked eye then there is a great possibility that the decay could already be in the nerve. If that is the case, then what could have been a few hundred dollars worth of dentistry to fix could suddenly cost thousands of dollars to repair. Bitewing x-rays are also very helpful in seeing bone damage due to periodontal (gum) disease. As the disease progresses, it causes the bone that holds the teeth in to erode away. If left unchecked, the damage to the bone could be so severe that teeth could be lost. Seeing this damage in it’s early stages can alert the dentist that there is a problem brewing. Since once bone is lost, the damage is irreversible, so catching bone loss before before it happens is very important.