What is a Digital Panoramic X-ray

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
  • Abscesses
  • Fractures
  • Orthodontic alignment of the teeth
  • Detecting oral cancer (and non-cancerous growths)
  • Diagnosis of third molars (wisdom teeth)
  • Assess the TMJ ( jaw joint)
panoramic x-ray

Panoramic X-ray

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.

Today’s post was written personally by Drs. David and Janna Civils. Do you have a question for either Dr. David or Dr. Janna?  We would love to hear from you!

Drs. David and Janna Civils

1114 Magnolia Street 
Greensboro, NC

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