What Is a Panoramic Dental X-Ray?
A Panoramic dental x-ray provides our dentist with a clear image of the whole mouth. This includes the jaws, teeth, nasal area, sinuses and temporomandibular joints which are the jaw joints. Unlike a traditional type of dental x-ray where the digital chip is placed inside the mouth, a panoramic x-ray is taken from outside the mouth.
For this type of x-ray your child will need to be carefully positioned to ensure the image is sharp and clear; the machine comes with chin and forehead rests to keep the head stable and for patient comfort. The circular mechanism rotates around the head, starting at one side of the jaw and finishing at the other side of the jaw. Since it takes a couple of seconds from start to finish, and provided that a child can keep still, panoramic x-rays are often recommended for young children, as a part of noninvasive diagnostic procedure.
When Is Panoramic Dental X-Ray Used?
A panoramic dental x-ray is very useful for showing any bone abnormalities or infection, or for showing teeth that are impacted, for example wisdom teeth. The doctor may prescribe the panoramic x-ray in order to check for any kind of abnormalities such as solid growths, tumors, or cysts. If your child suffers from accident or dental trauma, panoramic x-ray may be assigned to check for any signs of fractures or damages which aren’t immediately visible to the naked eye. This type of image can also be used to plan treatments such as tooth extractions (tooth removal) and braces.
Are There Any Limitations to a Panoramic X-Ray?
Yes as this type of image doesn’t provide any precise and detailed information about individual teeth or about the soft tissues and facial muscles. However it is very useful for providing an initial evaluation of the jaw area. If necessary, we will recommend further tests such as a CT scan which provides a more detailed image.
D0330 – Panoramic Film