X-rays are a normal part of a routine dental visit, but there is a type of x-ray your dentist might only recommend every few years. This type is called a panoramic x-ray, and it is very different from traditional bitewing x-rays. If you haven't visited a dentist in the past few years, your dentist is likely to recommend taking a panoramic x-ray during your next visit, and here are a few things to know about these x-rays.
What is a panoramic x-ray?
The most common type of x-ray used in a dental clinic is a bitewing x-ray, and you are probably familiar with this type. A panoramic x-ray is very different than this as it is only one x-ray. A panoramic x-ray is taken with a special type of machine that is able to take a picture of your entire mouth. The machine actually moves to take a view of your mouth panoramically, and this picture is useful for many reasons.
What do these show?
Bitewing x-rays are great for taking pictures of certain parts of your mouth, but a panoramic x-ray will show everything. It will show all your teeth, your roots, and your bite. It will show your jawbone and any teeth that are there but have not yet erupted. Dentists like to use these for many reasons, and here are some of the things they will reveal that a dentist might not see as well on bitewing x-rays:
- Tumors or growths in your mouth
- Problems with your bite or with your jawbone
- Teeth that have developed but have not yet erupted
- Cancer in your mouth and gum disease
Panoramic x-rays are very comprehensive and can help dentists find problems sooner than they would be able to otherwise.
What other benefits do these offer?
If your dentist would like to take a panoramic x-ray of your mouth, you should agree to it, simply because there are benefits of these x-rays. The first benefit is that the radiation exposure is less with a panoramic x-ray than with bitewings. The second thing to realize is that there is a lower chance of contracting an infection from this machine compared to the machines and equipment used to take bitewing x-rays. While many dentists take panoramic x-rays in addition to bitewings, you could always request a panoramic x-ray only if you want; however, most dentists like to use both types.
Getting x-rays is a normal part of a dental visit, and getting a panoramic x-ray can be beneficial for you. To learn more about this, contact a dental clinic, such as New Image Dental, today.