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What Are Panoramic X-Rays?

Posted on 1/30/2016 by Allan Hablutzel
A dentist showing a patient their dental x-ray.A panoramic X-ray is a 2D dental image that will capture a picture of your entire mouth in one photo, including the teeth, jaws, and surrounding tissues and structures. This noninvasive test is crucial in any dental practice, and they will help your dentist to best care for your teeth.

Why Might Your Dentist Take Panoramic X-Rays?

Both dentists and oral surgeons commonly take panoramic X-rays as part of their daily practice, as these images can serve as important tools for diagnosing problems inside of your mouth.

These images will cover a wider area of your mouth than a conventional X-ray, providing information about irregularities with the bone and gums. Your dentist will also be able to see the positions of the teeth and information about the maxillary sinuses and nasal area, and these images can be crucial in detecting numerous problems:

•  Sinusitis
•  Advanced gum disease
•  Impacted teeth
•  Oral cancer
•  Tumors
•  TMJ Disorder

What Happens During the X-Ray Procedure?

If your dentist wants you to have a panoramic X-ray, the process is quite easy for you. The technician will place a bite blocker into your mouth to ensure that your teeth are aligned properly for the image, as this is important for getting a clear picture. Then, the system will be positioned by your head.

Once the X-ray machine is engaged, a rotating arm will travel around the perimeter of your head in a semicircle while recording the image. The whole process should only take 12-20 seconds.

What Are the Benefits of a Panoramic X-Ray?

In addition to giving your dentist a clear picture of what is going on in your mouth, a panoramic X-ray emits very little radiation, and none of it should stay in your body after the procedure.

You won't experience any side effects, and even young children can have these images taken sine no film is placed inside of the mouth. Don't be afraid the next time your dentist schedules you for X-rays. These images are for your benefit and will be vital in keeping your mouth healthy.

Please contact us today if you have any questions about panoramic x-rays.
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