Panoramic Dental X-Ray
Panoramic X-rays, like other dental X-rays, are pictures of the teeth, bones and soft tissues of the mouth. They are taken to help your dentist evaluate the overall health of your mouth and teeth. Unlike close-up X-rays such as bitewing or periapical, panoramic X-rays show a much broader view of the jaws, teeth, sinuses, nasal area and temporomandibular jaw (TMJ) joints.
What do they reveal?
Panoramic X-rays do not reveal cavities like periapical X-rays. They can, however, help to identify the following conditions:
- Impacted teeth
- Bone abnormalities
- Solid growths (tumors)
While routine X-rays are able to identify most oral health issues, there are some conditions that panoramic X-rays alone can reveal. According to a study by the University of Buffalo, panoramic X-rays are most helpful in locating lesions in the sinus cavities of the cheeks, the soft tissue of the neck and the upper portion of the jawbone.
How are they taken?
Unlike bitewing or periapical X-rays, the film is not placed inside your mouth. Instead, the film is contained in a machine that moves around the outside of your mouth, face and neck.
How often should they be done?
Dentists recommend that you get them taken every 2-5 years to check the teeth and mouth for problems. If you have concerns about radiation, digital panoramic X-rays are an excellent alternative.
What is a digital panoramic X-ray?
A digital panoramic X-ray is one that is taken with a digital sensor instead of film. Because no development is needed, digital X-rays can be seen immediately, enhanced and enlarged many times and adjusted for brightness and contrast. Digital panoramic X-rays make it easier for you and your dentist to identify any problems that you may have.
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