Dental X-Ray Vs Panoramic X-Rays

Dental X-Rays vs Panoramic X-rays

Dental X-Rays vs Panoramic X-rays

Nowadays it is very common that when you visit your dentist, you are asked to take an x-ray. There are many reasons to take an x-ray, either dental (periapical) or panoramic, which will allow our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Ventura, or Port Hueneme to be a fundamental tool to evaluate the parts of the mouth and detect hidden conditions that are not seen with the naked eye. This helps them to obtain an accurate diagnosis of some oral diseases, or to make a complete evaluation of all the structures.

WHAT ARE DENTAL X-RAYS? Dental X-Rays vs Panoramic X-rays

They are images of the teeth and their neighboring structures that are obtained by an X-ray machine. These devices emit electromagnetic waves that can pass through teeth, bone, and tissues and then to form an image on a “film”; this can be “analog” (conventional) or digital. There are different types of dental x-rays; we have the intraoral and extraoral, being the most common the Periapical and Panoramic.

WHAT ARE PERIAPICAL RADIOGRAPHS? Dental X-Rays vs Panoramic X-rays

Periapical radiographs, which are for each tooth in particular, are of great help in detailing the position, root anatomy, and state of the surrounding bone. These can be indicated for all teeth in the mouth.

WHAT ARE PANORAMIC RADIOGRAPHS? Dental X-Rays vs Panoramic X-rays

They are radiographs that provide us with a detailed “panorama” of the patient’s condition. They give us a broader general vision since they cover both jaws and neighboring structures such as the maxillary sinuses, floor of the nostrils, among others.


There are many reasons to perform a dental x-ray; among them, we have the following:

  • Dental caries: They allow dentists to see cavities between two teeth (interproximal) that are difficult to detect in the clinical examination, and visualize cavities that have formed underneath previous restorations.
  • Periodontitis: It is possible to diagnose this disease and begin to treat it to delay its progression.
  • Abscesses and dental cysts: these are not possible to see with the naked eye. Radiographs are necessary because they are at the level of the tip (apex) of the tooth.
  • Wisdom teeth: They allow us to observe their position and their relationship with adjacent structures to determine whether they should be extracted or kept in the mouth.
  • Detect tumors and diseases such as sinusitis.
  • Evaluate anomalies in dental development
  • Evaluate injured teeth
  • Evaluate jaw growth

WHY ARE X-RAYS IMPORTANT FOR DENTISTS? Dental X-Rays vs Panoramic X-rays

  • They complement the clinical evaluation of a patient.
  • They are instrumental in all stages of treatment, as they can corroborate and complement an initial diagnosis and thus, plan an individualized treatment for each patient.
  • It constitutes a complementary diagnostic element to all dental specialties, not only in the initial stage of diagnosis and treatment planning but also as an immediate control. 
  • It allows us to evaluate the quality of the treatment, such as control of endodontics, restorations, fixed rehabilitations, implants, cystic lesions, tumor lesions, dental trauma, maxillofacial trauma, etc.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA): “Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage saves time, money and unnecessary discomfort, in this case, dental x-rays are perfect for detecting problems in the mouth that would otherwise go undetected.”

DOES IT HURT TO GET X-RAYS? Dental X-Rays vs Panoramic X-rays

The evolution in technology has also led to safer dental X-ray machines and decreased radiation effects.

The radiation that patients experience when taking modern X-rays is extremely low, so it is no longer a problem.

Digital radiography makes it possible to reduce radiation, exposure time and improve image quality.

CONTACT US: Dental X-Rays vs Panoramic X-rays

If you have any questions about this topic or any other, please feel free to contact or visit us at Channel Islands Family Dental.

At Channel Islands Family Dental, we will be attentive to your visit to make a timely diagnosis.  In addition, our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Ventura, or Port Hueneme will be able to guide you to the best treatment to bring back your best smile.

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