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Panoramic X-rays

Panoramic X-rays (also known as Panorex® or orthopantomograms) are "wraparound" radiographs of the jaws and teeth.  They offer a view that would otherwise be unseen with regular X-rays .  X-rays in general, expose hidden structures, such as unerupted wisdom teeth, preliminary signs of cavities between teeth, and also show fractures, bone loss and rare bone lesions.

Panoramic X-rays are extraoral and simple to perform.  Usually, dental X-rays involve the digital sensor being placed inside the mouth, but the panoramic sensor  is hidden inside a mechanism that rotates around the outside of the head.  Using the Panoramic machine is ideal for patients who have very sensitive gag reflexes, very small mouths or very large boney "bumps" in their mouths.  Our machine is the very advanced digital Planmeca Promax machine which actually allows bite wing style views, panoramic views and Tomogram (cross sectional) views.

Panoramic X-rays are generally taken as part of a typical new patient exam, when dentures are considered, at the beginning and completion of significant dental restorations and at 5 year follow-up intervals.  A panoramic x-ray is not conducted to give a detailed view of each tooth, but rather to provide a better view of the sinus areas, TMJ areas, mandible and an overall view of the teeth and jaws

Panoramic X-rays are extremely versatile in dentistry, and are used to:

  • Assess patients with an extreme gag reflex and those for whom regular Xrays are very uncomfortable.
  • Evaluate the form of the TMJ.
  • Expose some rare bone lesions and abnormalities.
  • Expose impacted teeth.
  • Expose jawbone fractures.
  • Treatment Planning (full and partial dentures, braces and implants).
  • Reveal significant bone loss from periodontal disease.