Panoramic x-rays do exactly what they say on the tin: they take a full panoramic photo of your teeth in a wraparound process. Although they have other much more complicated names, such as orthopantomograms or Panorex, what they do is very simple, and that is give information such as any hidden structures like early cavities or wisdom teeth coming in a way that nothing else is able to. They also offer early visibility on bone loss or fractures that could develop.

Some people dislike having x-rays because they do not like having to put that film in their mouths, but that is not a requirement of panoramic x-rays. Instead, the film is actually built into the machine as it moves around your head, and these x-rays are only ever performed when absolutely necessary. The dentist does not want to have a close look at one particular tooth, but instead gain an overall understanding about what is going on in your mouth.

dental panoramic x-ray

Panoramic X-Ray

There are many other different reasons why a dentist may give you a panoramic x-ray, including:

  • Helping to diagnose an overactive gag relex
  • Understanding TMJ progression
  • Looking for cysts
  • Spotting impacted teeth
  • Seeing fractures in jawbones
  • As the planning stage for braces, dentures, or implants
  • Discovering gum disease and cavities

The side to side view of a panoramic x-ray is created by a rotating arm that has the actual x-ray generator at the end of it, and the moving film attachment that creates the x-ray pictures themselves. Your head will be placed between these two, and in most cases you will be standing up completely naturally. The rotating arm will then move slowly around your head so that it can take the x-ray, and it is vital during this process that you do not move your head or teeth at all, otherwise the image will become blurred and it will be impossible for the dentist to use it.

After the panoramic x-ray has been created, the dentist will then have the image increased by about 30% so that they can get a really close look at exactly what is going on in your jawline. This diagnostic tool is absolute crucial for dentists that want to understand how future treatments can really benefit their patients, and as they use much less radiation than traditional x-rays, they are much less harmful for the patient and safer all round.

To get your X-Rays done with our Panoramic equipment, call (619) 640-5100 to schedule your appointment