A panorex x-ray is a two-dimensional x-ray used in the dental field. It displays both jaws, the upper and lower jaw, as well as the teeth, on the same film at the same time.
Panorex films have several uses. They are used regularly for orthodontic assessments, diagnosis of wisdom teeth impaction, diagnosis of advanced periodontal disease, assessment of the jaw joints, as well as for detecting signs of oral cancer.
Panorex films are used regularly for:
- Diagnosis of advanced periodontal disease
- Assess the TMJ, or jaw joint
- Detecting oral cancer
- Orthodontic assessments: To demonstrates the number, position, and growth of all the teeth including those that have not yet surfaced or erupted. It is different from the small close up x-rays dentists take of individual teeth. It may also reveal problems with the jawbone and the joint which connects the jawbone to the head called the Temporomandibular joint or TMJ. It may be requested for the planning of orthodontic treatment, for the assessment of wisdom teeth or for a general overview of the bone which supports the teeth.
Diagnosis of wisdom teeth impaction: Generally your dentist will first refer you to a trusted x-ray facility in order to gain full mouth x-rays which will help give visibility to your current condition. Even if you have had these done before, they may ask you to have new x-rays to be taken as over time the position of teeth within the jaw can change as you age.
Your dentist may also have 3D x-rays taken with newer x-ray machines.