Reasons We Prefer Panoramic X-rays Over Single Angle Films
Posted on 10/30/2010 by Dr. Reeder
One of the most important tools we have at our disposal is X-rays because they provide the best picture of what is happening inside our patient's mouths beyond a visual examination. We can detect things like cavities, infections, and decay by taking X-rays.
While single angle films are commonly used, advancement in technology now offers a panoramic X-ray which is much more comprehensive and detailed. This type of X-ray can show us things we are not able to see with film and is less invasive for the patient.
What is Film X-ray?
When you visit us for the first time, we will use X-rays to get a better picture of your oral health. Doing this will let us know how to treat you. To do this, we use individual pieces that we ask you to bite on at a particular angle so that we can get a picture of your entire tooth, including the root. We need several of these x-rays to capture the entire mouth. It can be somewhat uncomfortable.
What is a Panoramic X-ray?
Panoramic X-rays or radiographs are another option we use, but unfortunately not all dental insurance plans cover this type of x-ray, so we use it on a more limited basis. There are definite advantages to using panoramic x-rays though.
One of the most important ones is that we are allowed to take a single picture of your entire mouth, teeth, and jaw bones, including the surrounding tissue. This tool helps us detect things that we may not otherwise notice with a film x-ray for more complex dental problems and the images are ready for review almost instantly.
In general, patients prefer the panoramic x-ray because it's more comfortable to sit through it, there is less radiation involved and fewer infection risks. The one drawback is that the panoramic x-ray is not good at detecting cavities one of the most common oral conditions.
While this is an excellent technology to use for all sorts of dental issues, we still have some work to do until we can move on from film x-rays entirely. If you would like to learn more about your x-ray options, please contact our office today!