Dental X-Rays Vs Panoramic X-Rays

Dental X-Rays vs Panoramic X-rays

Last Updated on May 22, 2023 by Dr Gustavo Assatourians DDS

Dental X-Rays Vs Panoramic X-Rays

Both dental x-rays and panoramic x-rays are imaging methods frequently used in dentistry to assist dentists in the diagnosis and treatment of various dental issues. These diagnostic techniques offer insightful knowledge regarding the health of the teeth, gums, and jawbone. Panoramic x-rays capture an overall image of the entire mouth and jaw, whereas dental x-rays are used to create detailed images of single teeth or tiny parts of the mouth.

Making educated judgments regarding their dental health and treatment options can be facilitated for patients by understanding the distinctions between these two types of x-rays. In this post, we’ll examine the fundamental differences between dental and panoramic x-rays, as well as their applications, detecting capacities, potential advantages, and drawbacks.

What are Dental X-Rays? 

dentist showing x-ray
They are images of the teeth and their neighboring structures that are obtained by an X-ray machine.

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? 

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? 

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.


For what reasons might the Dentist Request a Dental X-Ray? 

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

Caries dental

  • 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? 

  1. They complement the clinical evaluation of a patient.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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? 

Young ethnic girl in dental office making x-ray
The evolution in technology has also led to safer dental X-ray machines and decreased radiation effects.

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 

If you have any of these issues and need guidance, feel free to visit Channel Island Family Dental.

At Channel Island Family Dental, we focus on providing a timely diagnosis. In addition, at Oxnard Dentist, Ventura Dentist , Newbury Park Port Hueneme Dentist, and Santa Paula Dentist, we provide the best treatment to restore your confidence in smiling again.

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