Panorex or Panoramic X-rays is a two dimensional (2-D) dental x-ray examination. This technology captures your entire mouth in a single image and shows a broad view of the upper and lower jaws, teeth, sinuses, nasal area, and jaw joints. Panoramic x-rays can identify problems like impacted teeth including wisdom teeth, advanced periodontal disease, bone abnormalities, cysts, solid growths (tumors),oral cancers, infections, sinusitis and fractures.
Panoramic examination does not require any special preparations and lasts only 12-20 seconds. You will be asked to remove any jewellery, eye glasses or other metal objects to avoid interference with x-ray images and made to wear a lead apron to protect the rest of your body from any radiation exposure. Your dentist will then ask you to sit in the center of the unit, where your head will be carefully positioned and secured. Then a bite-blocker is placed in your mouth for proper teeth alignment. Proper placement of head and teeth is necessary for a clear image. Then you will be asked to remain very still, during which the x-ray tube rotates in a semicircle around your head, starting at one side of the jaw and ending at the other side. The film/x-ray detector for a panoramic x-ray is placed rotating opposite to the x-ray tube, unlike the traditional intraoral x-ray where it is placed inside the mouth. The images obtained are digital and can be stored electronically allowing for better visualization of structures and tissues as well easy accessibility.
Panoramic x-rays are common diagnostic tools used by dentists and oral surgeons in everyday practice. It helps them to plan treatment for dentures, braces, extractions and implants. It produces a flat image of your curved jaw structure. This examination has advantages like it is painless, fast and easy to perform, radiation does not remain in your body after an x-ray examination, does not have side effects in the typical diagnostic range and can be used in children.