What is a Panoramic X-Ray?
A panoramic X-ray, also known as a panoramic radiograph or orthopantomogram (OPG), is a type of dental X-ray that takes a wide-angle view of the entire upper and lower jaws, including the teeth, gums, and surrounding bones.
Panoramic X-rays are used to diagnose a variety of dental problems, including:
- Cavities: Panoramic X-rays can detect cavities that are not visible to the naked eye, even in between teeth.
- Impacted teeth: Panoramic X-rays can help dentists to see if there are any teeth that are impacted, or stuck in the jawbone. This can be helpful in planning treatment for impacted wisdom teeth.
- Bone loss: Panoramic X-rays can be used to assess bone loss around teeth, which can be a sign of gum disease or other dental problems.
- Jaw abnormalities: Panoramic X-rays can help dentists to identify abnormalities in the jawbone, such as crooked teeth or a misaligned bite.
- Oral cancer: Panoramic X-rays can be used to screen for oral cancer, a serious disease that can be detected early with regular dental checkups.
Panoramic X-rays are a safe and painless procedure that takes just a few minutes to perform. The patient will be asked to stand or sit in front of the panoramic X-ray machine and place their chin on a chin rest. The dentist will then place a bite block in the patient’s mouth to help keep the teeth in the correct position. The machine will then rotate around the patient’s head, taking a picture of the entire mouth.
The benefits of panoramic X-rays include:
- They provide a wide-angle view of the entire mouth, which can help dentists to diagnose problems that would not be visible with traditional dental X-rays.
- They are a safe and painless procedure.
- They are relatively quick to perform.
- They emit a low dose of radiation.
If your dentist recommends a panoramic X-ray, be sure to ask any questions you have about the procedure. Panoramic X-rays are a valuable tool for dentists to help diagnose and treat dental problems.