We have recently installed a digtal panorex machine in our dental office. While we have had a film based panorex for years, the technology has led to a lot of questions from our patients. What is a panorex? How is different from other dental x-rays? Why is it better than our film panorex machine?
A panorex is a two dimensional dental x-ray that displays both the upper and lower jaws and teeth in the same image. We use a panorex to view these areas approximately every five years.
Panorex machines have chin and forehead rests, side head positioners, and bite-blocks that patients will be asked to close their teeth around. All this may look and feel intimidating, but the process is very safe and uses less radiation than a full series of intraoral radiographs.
Because a digital panorex produces anatomically correct geometry and elimination of shadows it is a great tool to evaluate:
- Growth and development of the teeth and jaw
- Tooth-Sinus relationship
- Nerve-Tooth relationships
- Orthodontic alignment of the teeth
- Detecting oral cancer (and non-cancerous growths)
- Diagnosis of third molars (wisdom teeth)
- Assess the TMJ ( jaw joint)
A digital panorex has many advantages over a film based x-ray.
- Images can be stored electronically and emailed to specialists and insurance companies.
- The image quality is far crisper and uniformly exposed than film
- They are faster, producing images that can be viewed almost instantly.
- They’re safer, with no chemical development and significantly less radiation.
- We can enhance images to improve viewing.
Drs. David and Janna Civils
1114 Magnolia Street