Technology has the ability to transform patient care, and at Westgrove Dental, we are committed to always staying on the cutting-edge of technological advancements in the dental world. One technology that helps us form accurate diagnoses and treatment plans is the use of panoramic X-rays.
What makes panoramic X-rays different?
Traditional bite-wing dental X-rays show us a close-up of the teeth, allowing us to spot any irregularities or issues. But panoramic X-rays capture an image of the entire mouth in a single image. They can provide a more global view of the head and neck, allowing us to diagnose and treat beyond just the ordinary dental concerns. Using panoramic X-rays, we can view problems that may exist in the tissue and jawbone, and view things that just aren’t visible using a traditional dental X-ray.
Why do I need panoramic X-rays?
We recommend patients have panoramic X-rays for several reasons:
- Panoramic X-rays provide improved care because they allow us to see your head, neck and jaw, giving us insight into any issues that could be present, such as tumors, growths, abnormalities and even cancer.
- Panoramic X-rays allow us to detect and diagnose issues at their onset, which often allows for treatment that is less invasive.
- Panoramic X-rays can prolong your life. Oral cancer has a very high mortality rate because it often isn’t caught until later stages; however, panoramic X-rays allow us to detect oral cancer in its early stages when it is easiest to treat.
- Panoramic X-rays allow us to see how your mouth changes over time, noticing bone abnormalities or shifting of the teeth.
- Panoramic X-rays are useful for all ages. In children, we can look at orthodontic issues and check the progress of erupting or soon-to-erupt permanent teeth. In teens and young adults we can monitor wisdom teeth. And in adults, we can spot early warning signs of potential issues before they become big problems.
What happens during a panoramic X-ray?
Getting a panoramic X-ray is a quick and easy process. We’ll position your head using the chin, side and forehead rests, and then stabilize your bite. The X-ray machine then goes to work, rotating in a semi-circle around your head. The X-ray only takes about 30 seconds, but provides us with a comprehensive image of your mouth and jaw.
How often do I need panoramic X-rays?
Unlike bitewing X-rays that are taken more often, panoramic X-rays are only needed every 305 years.