5 Things to Know About Panoramic X-Rays

4 May 2021
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

Do you have a dental appointment scheduled and you expect to get a panoramic X-ray? Here are some things that you'll want to know about this unique type of X-ray.

What Are Panoramic X-rays?

What makes a panoramic x-ray unique is the view it gives of your teeth. Instead of taking an X-ray of a small section, the scanner goes around your entire head to give your dentist a full view of your mouth. They'll be able to see all of your teeth, your jawbone, and even see teeth that have yet to come in such as your wisdom teeth.

When Are Panoramic X-rays Taken?

You won't have a panoramic X-ray taken every single time you go to the dentist. In fact, they may schedule this unique X-ray every few years as a routine procedure. If you are getting braces or a tooth extraction, or dental implant evaluation, a panoramic X-ray will likely be taken so that the dentist knows exactly what is going on with all of your teeth. 

How Are Panoramic X-rays Taken?

The process of taking a panoramic X-ray is much different than a bitewing X-ray. You'll actually stand at a machine that wraps around your entire head, so you'll be told to stand with your feet in a very specific place. You'll then bite down on a small stick to keep your head still during the scan. The dentist will make some adjustments to the height of the device so that it lines up perfectly. Thankfully, all you do is stand there while the dentist does all the work of configuring the machine.

How Do You Prepare for a Panoramic X-ray?

Your dentist is going to tell you to take off all jewelry that you are wearing from the neck up, so it is best to just not wear these items when you visit the dentist that day. You'll also need to wear a lead apron for the X-ray to protect your chest.

How Long Does a Panoramic X-ray Take to Scan?

Once everything is in place, the X-ray itself is relatively quick, it should be about half a minute for the machine to completely wrap around you and scan your mouth, and you'll be able to see the machine move to know when it is about to finish up. Your dentist may need to take a second X-ray if there were issues with the first one, so stand still and don't move out of place when it is done. 

To learn more about your upcoming appointment, contact a general dentistry practice.