Panoramic dental x-ray: What do I need to know?

A panoramic dental x-ray is a radiograph examination that aims to detect lesions and diseases within the oral cavity. Having such an x-ray performed is especially important prior to any orthodontic intervention. It is not possible to detect all problems and diseases within the oral cavity just with a simple clinical examination. A panoramic dental x-ray helps to locate all the above and contributes to the complete imaging and diagnosis of any issues with your teeth. It is also used to prevent certain diseases of the oral cavity, and to suggest which orthodontic appliance is most suitable for each patient. Therefore, for the timely and effective treatment of any dental problem, it is deemed necessary to have a panoramic dental x-ray performed by an orthodontist.

The necessity of a panoramic dental x-ray prior to any orthodontic intervention

Without performing a panoramic dental x-ray in order to further diagnose an orthodontic problem, it is impossible to design any orthodontic movement of the teeth. With the radiography called orthopantomogram, also known as a panoramic x-ray, a three-dimensional illustration of the size and the direction of the roots of the teeth is possible. Apart from these, the level of the supporting bone is also depicted, as well as any other problems such as caries, periodontal cysts, periapical lesions. Thanks to this radiography, it becomes easy to investigate the condition of teeth that have not yet erupted, as well as other symptoms that the patient may experience. Without a panoramic dental x-ray, it would be impossible to plan or devise any orthodontic treatment.

Other radiographic examinations for further investigation of possible oral problems

There are some cases in which it is necessary to perform further x-rays in addition to the panoramic dental x-ray. Such examinations could be the lateral cephalometric radiography (LCR or Ceph) and the cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). These radiological diagnostic examinations need to be carried out in cases where the diagnostic data provided by the panoramic x-ray is insufficient. In order to make the right treatment decisions that are aimed for each patient individually, the above x-rays may be deemed necessary. Every patient requires an individualized orthodontic approach to achieve straight teeth, and therefore proper and extensive examination is required before any treatment.

Is the panoramic dental x-ray a dangerous examination?

As mentioned above, it is impossible to perform any orthodontic intervention without a panoramic dental x-ray. In the cases where this imaging was not performed first, it is very likely that the treating orthodontist will plan an orthodontic tooth movement that will cause bodily harm to the patient. A panoramic dental x-ray is a very simple and painless examination that can play a crucial role in choosing the right treatment. Using the panoramic x-ray, the orthodontist can have a complete picture of the size of the roots and the support level of the bone. In this way, this x-ray contributes to an effective treatment. The radiation to which the patient is exposed is very small and completely harmless. Therefore, no patient needs to worry about this imaging test and its potential risk. Every doctor knows when this imaging is required, so that the patient is not unnecessarily exposed to any radiation.
Would you allow your orthopaedist to repair a fracture without first having an x-ray? The same goes for the oral cavity. It is not possible to perform any orthodontic intervention without the panoramic x-ray examination of your teeth. In our practice, we pay special attention to each patient and choose the most appropriate treatment for them, after performing the necessary diagnostic tests. We remain by your side, to assist you in any orthodontic treatment you select, in order to obtain a beautiful and healthy smile. You can consult the experienced staff at our practice, that will advise you appropriately on which orthodontic treatment – either Invisalign, or Incognito lingual orthodontics – is most appropriate for you.

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