Panorex Dental X-Rays

February 21, 2012 in Dentistry by McCarl Dental Group

When is a Panorex X-Ray the Best Choice?

Panorex or Panoramic x-rays are a one of a kind radiograph that is taken outside of the patient’s jaw. Panorex x-rays can show dental practitioners an overall look at structures like impacted teeth, jaw anatomy, nasal sinuses, and any suspected pathology around the mouth.

Panorex films are most commonly known for being taken on young adults with orthodontic consultations or when dentists are beginning to monitor wisdom tooth development. Because smaller x-rays taken inside of the mouth cannot show dentists much of the jaw, the panorex films are the best way to do this.

Individuals considering dental implants also need to have panorex films taken in order to evaluate the bone levels and anatomy of the nasal sinuses. This helps the dentists with McCarl Dental Group determine whether or not our patient are an ideal candidate, or if other procedures like bone grafts or nasal surgeries would first need to be completed. It also helps dentists know what type of implant needs to be placed in the mouth, as each implant is designed for different anatomical needs.  Panorex films are the x-ray of choice for accidents such as a broken jawbone.

For routine dental appointments, the dentists at McCarl Dental Group recommend a panorex film every 5 years. Most of our new patients have a panorex taken on their first appointment with us. This complies with the ADA standard of care, which is developed to help dentists monitor their patient’s oral health care needs. (1) Because some conditions like cysts, cancers, infections or tooth damage cannot be seen without the view that a panorex x-ray gives, it is important to have these taken regularly for preventative care. Patients who are undergoing orthodontic, or implant therapy may need to have these films taken more often to evaluate the progression that their treatments have made.

At McCarl Dental Group we have a digital Panorex. This allows us to share x-rays with patients and other health professionals at the request of our dental patients.

Each type of dental x-ray is designed to view different features. The image that the panorex provides cannot be replicated with other types of intraoral x-rays. For example, bitewing x-rays that are taken once a year to evaluate dental decay will not show areas around tooth roots, wisdom teeth,  or relationship of teeth to the sinuses.

Panorex films are easy and painless. These films are taken with a machine that rotates around the head in just a few seconds. Digital panorex films are ready for instant viewing and use a minimum of radiation.  All our patients feel it is exceptionally easy to have done. Panoramic x-rays eliminate gagging and discomfort sometimes caused by holding a film in the mouth.

If  have more questions on dental x-rays or are looking for a dental care provider we would love to hear from you. McCarl Dental offices are conveniently located near Severna Park, Annapolis, Crofton, Bowie and College Park Maryland. You can contact our Millersville, MD dental office at (410) 987-8800 or call our Greenbelt, MD location at (301) 474-4144. Please visit the McCarl Dental Group website at


1. Choi JW.; Assessment of panoramic radiography as a national oral examination tool: review of the literature.; Imaging Sci Dent. 2011 Mar;41(1):1-6. Epub 2011 Mar 26.