Panoramic X-ray shows the entire mouth in one picture, it doesn’t produce the details needed to show cavities. This type of X-ray does, however, show problems such as bone abnormalities and fractures, cysts, impacted teeth, infections, and tumors.
A dentist who suspects any of these problems may choose to take a panoramic X-ray. He or she may also use this imagery method when planning for treatments such as braces, implants, and dentures, and when recommending products to treat teeth that appear worn from overaggressive brushing.
Unlike traditional intraoral X-rays, panoramic dental X-rays are extraoral, meaning the imaging machine and film are outside of your mouth. A panoramic dental X-ray machine projects a beam through your mouth onto a film or a detector that rotates opposite the X-ray tube.