Panoramic X-rays (also known as Panorex® or orthopantomograms) are wraparound radiographs of the face and teeth. They offer a view that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye. X-rays in general, expose hidden structures, such as wisdom teeth, reveal preliminary signs of cavities, and also show fractures and bone loss.
Panoramic X-rays are extraoral and simple to perform. Usually, dental X-rays involve the film being placed inside the mouth, but in a digital panoramic x-ray a sensor is hidden inside a mechanism that rotates around the outside of the head.
How are digital panoramic X-rays taken?
The panoramic X-ray provides Dr. Banning with an ear-to-ear two-dimensional view of both the upper and lower jaw. The Panorex equipment consists of a rotating arm that holds the X-ray generator, and a moving sensor attachment that holds the pictures. The head is positioned between these two devices. The X-ray generator moves around the head taking pictures as orthogonally as possible. The pictures are magnified by as much as 30% to ensure that even the minutest detail will be noted.
Panoramic X-rays are an important diagnostic tool and are also valuable for planning future treatment. They are safer than other types of X-ray because less radiation enters the body.
If you have questions or concerns about panoramic X-rays, please ask Dr. Banning.