Digital Cephalometric X-rays

The  digital cephalometric X-ray is a unique tool, which enables Dr. de la Torre to capture a complete radiographic image of the side of your child's face. X-rays in general offer Dr. de la Torre a way to view the teeth, jawbone and soft tissues beyond what can be seen with the naked eye. Cephalometric X-rays are extraoral, meaning that no plates or film are inserted inside the mouth. Cephalometric and panoramic X-rays display the nasal and sinus passages, which are missed by intraoral bitewing X-rays.

Cephalometric X-rays are usually taken with a panoramic X-ray machine. The adapted machine will have a special cephalometric film holder mounted on a mechanical arm. An X-ray image receptor is exposed to ionizing radiation in order to provide pictures of the entire oral structure. The advantage of both cephalometric and panoramic X-rays is that the child's body is exposed to less radiation.

Cephalometric X-rays are not as common as “full sets” or bitewing X-rays, but they serve several important functions:

  • Provide views of the side profile of the face.
  • Provide views of the jaw in relation to the cheekbone.
  • Provide information about “bad bites” or malocclusions.
  • Allow measurement of the teeth.
  • Identify fractures and other injuries to the teeth and jawbone.
  • Assists in orthodontic planning.

How are cephalometric X-rays taken?

Cephalometric X-rays are completely painless. The child's head rests on the machine while the arm rotates around the head capturing images of the face, mouth and teeth.  The images are usually magnified up to 30%, so signs of decay, disease or injury can be seen and treated.

After capturing cephalometric X-rays, Dr, Dan will be able to see a complete side profile of your child's head. This assists in orthodontic planning, and allow an immediate evaluation of how braces might impact your child's facial profile and teeth. The X-ray is also to determine specific measurements prior to the creation and placement of dental implants.

If you have any questions or concerns about cephalometric X-rays, please ask Dr. Dan.


Dr. Daniel de la Torre
is a member of the American Dental Association, The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the International Association for Orthodontics (IAO), the American Association for Functional Orthodontics (AAFO) and the American Orthodontic Society