A panoramic dental x ray captures an image of the entire upper and lower jaw. When do you need this additional X ray?
The strange appearance of the camera adds to the mystery, some "panos" are taken while standing, hands on handles, chin resting on a shelf.
Other models have the patient seated in a contraption that looks like a cross between an electric chair and a carnival ride.
I understand the concern about radiation. Even with all my years in the dental profession I recently found myself feeling stressed and worried as I watched my son having a pano taken at the orthodontist's office without a lead apron.
The sight of it set my protective mom alarm off. "What? No x ray protection? Have I chosen the wrong orthodontist?"
Immediately the radiograph popped up on a nearby computer screen and I was relieved...ahh digital!
A pano requires the lowest radiation level compared to other full coverage dental x rays. Digital panoramic x ray is the lowest of the low.
He would have more radiation exposure after spending a hour in the sun and most of us don't make our kids wear lead aprons to play outdoors.
His soccer skills would suffer.
Panoramic dental x-rays for dental orthodontics and wisdom teeth
This amazing technology allows dental professionals to see your teeth, upper and lower jaws, TMJ, and even your sinuses all in one radiograph.
In spite of the odd looking equipment, in terms of radiation exposure this radiograph also known as a pano is the safest of the safe.
Orthodontists can see teeth before they errupt and plan treatment accordingly.
Some types of orthodontic braces can be placed before all the permanent teeth erupt. Proactive placement of bands and retainers is very helpful in some cases.
Wisdom teeth are the most unpredictable teeth also the toughest to see on standard dental x rays.
Maybe you are lucky and have no wisdom teeth:) But if you have yours, a panoramic x ray will help you avoid problems caused by wisdom teeth.
A pano helps your dentist determine the fate of wisdom teeth.
Do they stay or do they go?
If they need to go... don't worry you wont miss them:)
This x ray is needed by your oral surgeon before removing wisdom teeth.
Because nothing big goes inside your mouth, a pano can be taken on very young children long before they are big enough to have intra-oral dental x rays taken.
Those with a strong gag reflex love having the option of a panoramic dental x ray.
With all the advantages, why don't dentists use this dental x ray equipment exclusively?
Just one reason, because the x ray camera is moving while the radiograph is taken, the image is not as clear or focuses as traditional dental x rays.
A pano gives your dentist the big picture but additional radiographs are still needed to detect many dental problems.
When used in combination with intraoral dental x rays, a panoramic dental x ray is a safe, easy, and comfortable option.