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.