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Panoramic Imaging: Unveiling Hidden Dental Pathologies and Anomalies

Disease diagnosis is an important component for designing appropriate treatment plans. Precise findings help the dentist detect hidden oral pathologies and anomalies. Dental radiographs like panoramic X-rays are excellent and innovative diagnostic imaging aids that help detect oral diseases at an early stage. 

Panoramic X-rays offered by the dentist in Salida, CO, are two-dimensional depictions of teeth and other oral structures. Keep reading to learn everything about panoramic X-rays.

What is a panoramic x-ray?

Panoramic X-rays, or OPG (orthopantomograms), are two-dimensional images that offer a comprehensive view of the entire oral and maxillofacial region in a single image. Unlike traditional X-rays, panoramic X-rays capture the entire upper and lower jaws, teeth, TMJs, and surrounding structures in a single exposure.

During a panoramic radiograph procedure, you will be asked to stand or sit in front of the panoramic X-ray machine while the X-ray unit rotates around your head in a semi-circular motion. The X-ray detector and tube head move together, capturing images as they rotate. The resulting image is produced on a single film or digital sensor.

Why is a panoramic X-ray used?

Panoramic X-rays or an OPG are used to diagnose and monitor the following oral pathologies and conditions:

  • Gum disease 
  • Hidden tooth caries and cavities
  • Oral abscesses (pus-filled painful boils) and cysts (clear fluid-filled sacs)
  • Dental fractures
  • Dislocated jaws
  • Abnormal tooth development
  • Impacted teeth
  • Wisdom teeth development 
  • Dental implant planning 
  • Orthodontic braces treatment planning 
  • Sinus evaluation 

What are the benefits offered by a panoramic x-ray?

Panoramic X-rays are preferred over traditional X-rays due to the following benefits:

  • Broad coverage of facial bones and teeth, including the TMJ
  • Involves low patient radiation dose
  • It is highly convenient when compared to traditional X-rays
  • Helps in patients with restricted mouth opening 
  • Requires a short time to produce the images 
  • Produces accurate radiographic images 
  • Requires minimal patient cooperation and positioning
  • Helps in patient education and case presentation
  • Offer versatile applications in several dental procedures

Wrapping up

Panoramic X-rays are a valuable diagnostic tool in dentistry, offering a comprehensive view of oral and maxillofacial regions for diagnosis, treatment planning, and monitoring of dental and oral health conditions. These radiographs offer numerous benefits and play a crucial role in modern dental practice. An accurate diagnosis paves the way for accurate treatment planing to improve your quality of life. 

If you have specific concerns about panoramic X-rays, consult with your dentist for personalized guidance and recommendations. 

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