A panoramic dental x-ray or panorex uses a minute amount of ionizing radiation to capture the image of your entire mouth, including tissues and surrounding structures.

This x-ray is used in developing a treatment plan for oral appliances or treatments that you need. Dental health professionals take panorex for patients regularly.

Here at Embrace Dental, we offer panoramic radiography for your convenience. This procedure does not require special preparations. However, for your safety, we ask that you let us know if you have existing medical conditions, are currently expecting, or may be pregnant.

How the Procedure Works

X-rays are used to diagnose and treat dental conditions. The traditional x-ray uses a film or detector that is inserted into your mouth. The modern panoramic x-ray machine has two sides - one where the x-ray tube is mounted and the other is where the film or detector is.

Your head is positioned with the help of side rests. Your dentist may also provide you with a bite blocker to help keep your mouth open throughout the procedure. Your teeth and head should be properly aligned to capture a clear image.

You will be standing but if necessary, the machine can also be adjusted to cater to patients with special needs. When you’re ready, the x-ray tube rotates around your head in a semi-circle motion. The machine then projects a beam to record images of your mouth.

The entire procedure can be completed within 30 seconds or less. The images are stored electronically and you can and your dentist can view them in real-time. Since they are digital, the images can be adjusted by your dentist to improve accuracy.

Common Uses of Panoramic X-Rays

Panoramic x-rays can be helpful in various situations, such as the following:

  • Detecting issues early. A panorex provides a comprehensive of the mouth, which allows your dental team to spot issues before they develop further. You avoid the need for complex and costly treatments as problems are fixed at their early stages.
  • Improving oral health. A panorex helps dental health professionals detect issues with your mouth and surrounding structures. The mouth works with your head, neck, and jaw and any irregularities in any of them can affect the rest.
  • Monitoring developments in your mouth. Panoramic x-rays can also be used to track changes or progress your teeth are making. Your dentist can see how your teeth have moved over a certain period and also determine if your bones are still in good shape or are already deteriorating.
  • Detecting oral cancer. With a panoramic x-ray, oral cancer can be detected early. The earlier the oral cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chances of it getting treated as well.
  • Receiving orthodontic care. If you need orthodontic treatments, panorex is also useful in determining the growth of your teeth. Your dental team will be able to spot irregularities in more detail as the x-rays also provide a clearer image of the entire mouth.

How Long are Panoramic X-Rays Valid?

A panoramic x-ray can be good for 3-5 years. If you recently had your x-rays taken, you can request a copy to be forwarded to another dental or health office should you need them.

You will be advised beforehand if you need to take new x-rays. The cost of x-rays and dental check-ups are usually covered by dental insurance. Your dental team can verify this for you.

At Embrace Dental, your oral health is our priority. If you need your panoramic x-rays taken or would like to know more about preventative dental services, contact us today. Let’s keep your smile bright and healthy.