Section VI. THE PANORAMIC RADIOGRAPH
The panoramic technique is used to show a continuous view of the lower half of
the face. This includes the teeth, jaw, and some soft tissue anatomy. This radiograph
is mandatory for all military personnel and is used for initial dental processing of the
soldiers. It may also be used should post mortem identification become necessary.
4-39. ADVANTAGES OF THE PANORAMIC RADIOGRAPH
The principal advantages of the panoramic radiograph are the large area of
coverage, the bilateral view of anatomy, and low patient radiation dose. It can be used
on handicapped patients, children, and on those who are unable to open their mouths.
4-40. DISADVANTAGES OF THE PANORAMIC RADIOGRAPH
Unfortunately, this radiograph has several disadvantages. The definition of the
x-ray is not as sharp as a periapical or a bitewing x-ray. Therefore, small caries,
periapical disease along with other diseases, and abnormalities that would show up on
intraoral x-rays would not be identified on a panoramic view. Other problems would
include magnification, distortion, and natural overlapping of some of the teeth.
4-41. USES OF THE PANORAMIC RADIOGRAPH
The uses of the panoramic radiograph are numerous in the diagnosis of disease
and abnormalities. A complete survey can be made of the teeth and related structures,
some tumors and cysts can be examined and evaluated, the location and position of
impacted teeth may be determined, fractures of the lower face may be located, and
growth patterns of the jaws can be studied and evaluated. These uses make the
panoramic radiograph a valuable tool.
4-42. THE PANORAMIC UNIT
There are various types and models of the panoramic unit on the market today.
The operation of each machine will vary. Therefore, manufacturer's instruction should
be read and carefully followed. For a new machine, a technical representative should
be summoned to demonstrate its use and operation.