Dental x-rays are pictures taken of the teeth, bones and soft tissues around them that are used to locate problems and issues with the teeth, mouth and jaw. X-ray pictures can show cavities, tooth decay, bone loss and hidden dental structures, such as wisdom teeth. They are also used as a follow up method after dental treatments to view healing process.

Dental x-rays are performed in order to:

  • -find problems in the mouth such as tooth decay, damage to the bones, etc.
  • -find teeth that are not in the right place or do not erupt properly
  • -find cysts, solid growths, tumors or abscesses
  • -check for location of permanent teeth growing in children who still have their baby teeth
  • -plan treatment for teeth that are not lined up straight

At Three Rivers Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we use state of the art imaging hardware to take Panorex®, or panoramic x-rays, of patients to further understand their individual needs.

Panoramic X-rays


Panoramic X-rays (also known as Panorex® or orthopantomograms) are wraparound photographs of the face and teeth. They offer a view that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye. X-rays in general, expose hidden structures, such as wisdom teeth, reveal preliminary signs of cavities, and also show fractures and bone loss.

Panoramic X-rays are extraoral and simple to perform. Usually, dental X-rays involve the film being placed inside the mouth, but panoramic film is hidden inside a mechanism that rotates around the outside of the head.

Unlike bitewing X-rays that need to be taken every few years, panoramic X-rays are generally only taken on an as-needed basis. A panoramic x-ray is not conducted to give a detailed view of each tooth, but rather to provide a better view of the sinus areas, nasal areas and mandibular nerve. Panoramic X-rays are preferable to bitewing X-rays when a patient is in extreme pain, and when a sinus problem is suspected to have caused dental problems.