Panoramic dental x-ray uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to capture the entire mouth in one image. It is commonly performed by dentists and oral surgeons in everyday practice and may be used to plan treatment for dentures, braces, extractions and implants.
First, you will be situated in the center of the unit where the technician will carefully position and secure your head. The unit can be adjusted to accommodate a patient standing or sitting in a wheelchair. A bite-blocker is then placed in your mouth to ensure proper alignment of the teeth. Correct placement of the teeth and head is important for obtaining a clear image.
You will be asked to remain very still while the rotating arm travels in a semicircle around the perimeter of your head and the images are being taken. This can typically last between 12 to 20 seconds.
A panoramic x-ray exam is painless, fast and easy to perform. It may be recommended over intraoral x-rays for patients that have a sensitive gag reflex.
A panoramic x-ray examination requires no special preparation.
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