Dental Tips Blog


Why Do I Need to Get a Panoramic Dental X-Ray?

Posted in Digital X-Rays

You’re used to getting x-rays at least once a year along with a typical dental cleaning. But then one day, almost out of the blue, your dentist tells you that you need a panoramic x-ray.

How is that different?

Panoramic x-rays (often called “panos” or “pans,” for short) take a large image that captures bones from ear-to-ear and from nose to throat. Exactly what ends up in your pan may depend on your unique anatomy.

A Wider Viewpoint

A panoramic captures things that can’t be seen in other digital dental x-rays. This is because a classic x-ray beam is aimed directly at teeth in one direction. The result is a flat two-dimensional picture with distinct contrast.

Regular x-rays are ideal for spotting stuff going on around individual teeth like decay, bone loss, and abscesses. But a pano comes in handy when there’s suspicious activity in your jaw, neck, or sinuses. These areas don’t show up on your routine dental x-rays.

Your dentist may require patients to have a routine panoramic x-ray taken every several years simply to check for abnormalities, even if you don’t feel like anything’s wrong.

Other reasons for taking a pano include:

  • Monitor tooth development in children
  • Check for the presence of wisdom teeth
  • Planning treatment such as implant placement
  • Verifying the location of major nerves and other oral structures
  • Evaluating jaw problems

Aside from detecting a serious disease, a panoramic x-ray could be crucial to making your next dental treatment a success.

Posted on behalf of:
Gordon Dental of Leawood
11401 Nall Ave #102
Leawood, KS 66211
(913) 649-5017


How Often Does My Dentist Need to Take X-Rays?

Posted in Digital X-Rays

Do you have a toothache? Are you seeing your dentist for a routine check-up? You’ve probably found yourself asking “Do I need more x-rays? I just had some last time I was here.” If so, you’re not alone. It’s a great question and one that dentists get fairly often.

There are a couple of different types of intra-oral x-rays, each of which show very different things to your dentist:

Bitewings: These x-rays are usually taken once a year at your routine dental cleanings. For some people they may be taken more frequently if they have a high risk and vulnerability to tooth decay. Bitewing x-rays show the areas between several of your teeth, so that the areas typically affected by cavities and tartar buildup can be spotted easily. This allows your dentist to monitor suspicious areas and catch them as soon as possible, preventing major dental treatment later on.

Periapicals: This type of film focuses on only one or two teeth, and shows the entire length of your root, as well as the bone around your root. PAs are necessary during root canal therapy, at an emergency appointment, or to check problematic teeth for signs of infection and bone loss.

Other full mouth types of dental x-rays are taken every 3-5 years, to provide your dentist with a comprehensive look at your overall oral health. These FMX sets or Panoramic x-rays show all of the teeth in the mouth as well as some surrounding anatomical structures.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care


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