As a regular part of your dental hygiene routine, you will get x-rays of your teeth and jaw. Sometimes, you will need to get a specific type of x-ray known as a “panoramic x-ray.” Although all types of x-rays let you see inside the tissue, there are specific times when a panoramic x-ray is what is called for.
What is a Panoramic X-Ray?
A panoramic x-ray is a special type of x-ray that takes a single picture of your entire mouth. Unlike other x-rays that may only show a specific region, a panoramic x-ray is just that: a panoramic view of the entire mouth.
This type of x-ray requires the use of a highly specialized piece of equipment. You will place your chin on a rest while the machine uses an arm to rotate the x-ray device around your head. This allows it to capture the entire mouth in a single shot.
What is a Panoramic X-Ray Used for?
A panoramic x-ray is useful in situations where you need to see large swathes of the mouth at once. Many dentists use them to diagnose gum disease in its more advanced stages, as a traditional x-ray may not unveil the full extent of the gingivitis.
Other uses include identifying temporomandibular joint disorders, locating and identifying cancer tumors in the jawbone, and revealing impacted teeth. Finally, if you have a condition known as sinusitis (which is essentially an inflammation in the sinus cavity), using a panoramic x-ray will be the best way to identify it.
If you are not sure whether you need a panoramic x-ray, feel free to ask us about it. We are happy to explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have about it. So pick up the phone and give us a call, or send us an email today.