Panorex® or orthopantomograms is commonly known as panoramic X-rays. These x-rays take a 360 degree image of the face and teeth. X-rays give doctors a better view of areas they cannot see on the surface, for example, wisdom teeth, signs of cavities, and any fractures and bone loss.
Traditional dental x-rays use film inside the mouth but with panoramic x-rays have film hidden inside the structure and it rotates around the head.
Traditional x-rays need to be taken every three years, but with panoramic x-rays are only as needed. Panoramic x-rays are used to see the sinus, nasal and mandibular nerve better. Panoramic x-rays are better when patients are in pain and are unable to use the bitewing x-ray.
Panoramic x-rays can be used in many ways:
Check patients with extreme gag reflexes
Check the progression of TMJ
Expose cysts and abnormalities
Expose impacted teeth
Expose jawbone fractures
Plan treatment (full and partial dentures, braces and implants)
Reveal gum disease and cavities
How are panoramic x-rays used?
Dentists are able to see 2-D view from left to right of the upper and lower jaw. Typically, panoramic x-rays are used to check the position of wisdom teeth and if any dental implants will disturb the mandibular nerve (nerve that affects the lower lip).
The Panorex equipment has a rotating arm which includes the x-ray generator and mobile film that holds the images. The patient’s head will be in between these two mechanisms. The x-ray generator will move in 360 degrees around the patient’s head while taking pictures. Pictures can be enlarged up to 30% so that the smallest details can also be seen.
Panoramic x-rays are essential identification tool that is important for one’s treatment. It is safer than most x-rays due to the minimal radiation exposure.
If you have questions or concerns about panoramic x-rays, please contact A to Z Dental.
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