Panoramic Dental Radiography
Nowadays panoramic X-rays are an important tool for the dentist. This type of X-ray gives a broad overview of the entire mouth. This X-ray supplies information about the teeth, upper and lower jawbone, sinuses, and other hard and soft tissues of the head and neck.
The advantage of the panoramic X-ray is its ease of use. Unlike other X-rays where the film is placed inside the patient’s mouth, the panoramic film is contained in a machine that moves around the patient’s head. Panoramic X-ray is usually taken when the wisdom teeth are being evaluated. The X-ray will also reveal deep cavities and gum disease. However, it is not as precise as bitewing or periapical X-rays.
The panoramic X-ray has many other applications, including evaluating patients with past or present TMJ or jaw joint problems; those who require full or partial removable dentures, dental implants, or braces; those who are at risk or suspected of having oral cancer or other tumors of the jaw, have impacted teeth (especially wisdom teeth) or have had any recent trauma to the face or teeth (e.g., can help identify a fractured jaw); and for those who cannot tolerate other types of films (severe gaggers).
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It’s very important to underline that\the panoramic dental radiography can also identify calcification within the carotid artery that may indicate the potential for a stroke.
The panoramic X-ray is an important part of a thorough dental examination. It is usually recommended once every 5- 7 years for most patients. Although the panoramic X-ray does not provide as much detail when evaluating the teeth and gums as other dental X-rays, it can pick-up potential problems that the other X-rays cannot.
Read also about dental radiology certification.
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