A Panoramic View of Panoramic Radiography

Author : Dental Product Shopper
Published Date 07/25/2012
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A Panoramic View of Panoramic Radiography

In the same way that ?Kleenex? has usurped ?facial tissue,? ?panorex? has come to stand for the ?panoramic tomogram,? which has become the ?goto? x-ray for oral surgeons, orthodontists, and pediatric dentists the world over. One of the biggest decisions any dentist has to make is whether to purchase any of a number of panoramic radiographic imaging units.

What Panoramic Does

The main purposes for acquiring a panoramic image are to assess the dental age and the stage of development of a patient?s dentition, to screen for any number of pathological conditions, to provide adequate visualization of condylar morphology, and to have the ability to acquire TM joint tomograms. This type of radiography also provides a good depiction of root length and alignment, and aids in determining the relationship between crowding and the morphology and size of the jaws, as well as providing good visualizations of the maxillo-mandibular spatial relationship.

A ?panorex? is easier to acquire than a full mouth series, is more convenient for the patient, and is a superior patient education tool. Also, panoramic imagery provides instant qualitative evaluation of mandibular asymmetry, depicts the presence or absence of dental units along with any unerupted supernumerary teeth, and provides superior visualization of the existence and position of third molars. It does all of this in less time and with less radiation exposure than a full mouth series of periapical films.1,2

OP30?A Panoramic Unit Worth Exploring

There is a cost difference between a panoramic unit and an x-ray unit that only takes periapical films, but the Orthopantomograph OP30 has been designed by Instrumentarium Dental to provide high-quality images at a reasonable price.

With many panoramic units, clinicians can experience significant distortion of all structures in the part of the dental arch that ?turns.? In addition, if the patient is not positioned properly in the correct focal trough, significant distortion can occur. The OP30 uses a 5-point patient positioning system that helps hold the patient still and incorporates 3 laser positioning lights to ensure positioning accuracy.

Panoramic x-rays should ideally be used as a screening tool for patients whose clinical examination shows them to be relatively caries free, periodontally sound, and for those exhibiting no outward signs or symptoms of oral pathology. The OP30 offers 4 imaging programs to meet those needs: standard panoramic, pediatric panoramic, TMJ, and bitewing.

Panoramic?An Indispensable Tool

Depending on the character of his or her practice, a panoramic unit is a worthwhile investment both in terms of oral diagnostics and treatment planning. Whether evaluating a new patient or one on periodic recall, a panoramic unit might provide invaluable information. These images can provide unmatched information for those planning to do fixed and removable prosthetics, implant placement, or who need to refer patients for evaluation and treatment of specific problems. A panoramic system should be considered an indispensable tool for treating those we serve.


1. Graber TM, Vanarsdale RL. Orthodontics, Current Principles and Techniques. 4th ed. Elsevier, Mosby; St. Louis, 2005.

2. White SC, Pharoah MJ. Oral Radiology, Principles and Interpretation. 5th ed. Elsevier, Mosby; St. Louis, 2004.