According to the American Dental Association, dentists are committed to delivering the “highest quality care” to patients on an individual basis to ensure the safest and most effective treatments possible. This includes the skilled use of today’s most advanced technology—including high detection, low radiation digital X-ray. Everyone understands the main purpose of dental X-rays is to determine the health and condition of your teeth. X-rays can detect conditions that include cavities, gum disease, and infected or abscessed teeth. But what many patients are NOT aware of is that today’s highly detailed, full-mouth panoramic X-rays can reveal so much more, including conditions that could be fatal if left untreated.


With a panoramic X-ray, the imaging machine rotates around your head to create a single, connected and complete image of the entire jaw anatomy. The resulting image allows us to quickly review your condition for deep cavities and gum disease. But a critically important side benefit of panoramic X-rays has become a literal “life-saver” in our profession: panoramic X-rays can uncover the presence of oral cancer or other tumors of the mouth and jaw. This highly accurate technology can also identify some not so common but potentially lethal problems, including the presence of carotid artery calcification—a condition that can lead to stroke!


So how often should a full panoramic radiograph x-ray be taken? The answer is that it depends on your individual health condition and diagnostic needs. On average, I suggest a full panoramic X-ray for new patients (who have not recently had one), followed by another every five to seven years depending on their medical history and dental comfort. If you are someone who has avoided the dentist for years, coming to our office for a free consultation is a great way to discover the comfort we provide our patients. You’ll discover gentle, caring procedures, along with the peace of mind that comes through knowing you are in good dental health!