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Section VI. THE PANORAMIC RADIOGRAPH

4-38. GENERAL

The panoramic technique is used to show a continuous view of the lower half of the face. This includes the teeth, jaws 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, low patient radiation dose, and 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 number of uses are as follows: 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.


David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015