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Panoramic X-rays

Panoramic X-rays (also known as Panorex® or orthopantomograms) are wraparound photographs of the face and teeth.  They offer a view that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye.  X-rays in general, expose hidden structures, such as wisdom teeth, reveal preliminary signs of cavities, and also show fractures and bone loss.

Panoramic X-rays are extraoral and simple to perform.  Usually, dental X-rays involve the film being placed inside the mouth, but panoramic film is hidden inside a mechanism that rotates around the outside of the head.

Unlike bitewing X-rays that need to be taken every few years, panoramic X-rays are generally only taken on an as-needed basis.  A panoramic x-ray is not conducted to give a detailed view of each tooth, but rather to provide a better view of the sinus areas, nasal areas and mandibular nerve.  Panoramic X-rays are preferable to bitewing X-rays when a patient is in extreme pain, and when a sinus problem is suspected to have caused dental problems.

Panoramic X-rays are extremely versatile in dentistry, and are used to:

  • Assess patients with an extreme gag reflex.
  • Evaluate the progression of TMJ.
  • Expose cysts and abnormalities.
  • Expose impacted teeth.
  • Expose jawbone fractures.
  • Plan treatment (full and partial dentures, braces and implants).
  • Reveal gum disease and cavities.

How are panoramic X-rays taken?

The panoramic X-ray provides the dentist with an ear-to-ear two-dimensional view of both the upper and lower jaw.  The most common uses for panoramic X-rays are to reveal the positioning of wisdom teeth and to check whether dental implants will affect the mandibular nerve (the nerve extending toward the lower lip).

The Panorex equipment consists of a rotating arm that holds the X-ray generator, and a moving film attachment that holds the pictures.  The head is positioned between these two devices.  The X-ray generator moves around the head taking pictures as orthogonally as possible.  The positioning of the head and body is what determines how sharp, clear and useful the X-rays will be to the dentist.  The pictures are magnified by as much as 30% to ensure that even the minutest detail will be noted.

Panoramic X-rays are an important diagnostic tool and are also valuable for planning future treatment.  They are safer than other types of X-ray because less radiation enters the body.

If you have questions or concerns about panoramic X-rays, please ask your dentist.

Testimonials.

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Testimonials

Dr. Morgan is the BEST! He cares about what he does, and even better, he is great at what he does -- which is to restore the image of having good teeth back to your face! I've had three crowns made, and I was impressed by the way he treated each one like a well-crafted work of art. He was meticulous, patient, precise. He has very high standards and does not cut any corners. Best of all, he is friendly and courteous. He's been my dentist since 2008, and I have to say that every the time and dollar spent are worth the investment!

Maria Q., New York

"I asked Dr. Morgan to replace the crown on one of my front teeth, a glaring restoration that caused me to smile self-consciously. Once he'd finished, I told my sharp-eyed young daughter. She wanted to see and I bared my teeth for her. “Which one is it, Dad?”—no critique could have made a more ringing confirmation of Dr. Morgan’s precision in pursuit of dental wholesomeness."

~Mr. A.R.K.

"I searched for a dentist for a couple of years. My upper teeth were very small and discolored which always bothered me. My biggest concern was to find someone who would create a natural looking smile. Luck struck when I befriended a woman who to my disbelief mentioned her beautiful teeth all being 'fake'.

"I want your dentist" I said.

I now have a beautiful smile. My gums were raised, my teeth straightened and then capped or veneered. Dr Morgan is not only a very knowledgeable doctor but also a skilled craftsman. As a hobby sculptor and photographer he has a keen sense for 3 dimensional design and a very good eye. I have recommended him many times."

~Ms. T. M.

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