Benefits of Digital Panoramic Radiography

Digital panoramic radiography offers dental diagnostics benefits by providing views of the whole mouth, teeth, upper and lower jaws. It also may include imaging of the sinuses. While it isn’t always necessary to have panoramic x-rays taken, it is an efficient diagnostic tool. Dentists gain valuable knowledge to current and potential dental and oral health issues with the assistance of panoramic studies.

“Directly acquired digital panoramic images are far more time-efficient and more easily interpreted than analog film radiographs. The digital image can be post-processed to optimize image interpretation based upon diagnostic objective” (2011).

Digital panoramic radiography equipment is expensive. However, the benefits to the practice and patients will pay for itself in increased referrals, patient satisfaction, and improved efficiencies. The hardware will integrate with practice management software as well as with electronic health records (EHRs).

“Digital radiography is an essential complement to electronic health records” (2011).

Dental offices seeking digital panoramic radiography should consider shopping around and consider the needs of the practice. There are many varieties of hardware and software packages to choose from.

Lessons learned:

• Digital panoramic radiography improves dental diagnostics.
• Digital panoramic imaging involves the whole mouth, teeth, and jaws.
• Digital images can be manipulated for improved visualization.
• Digital images can be accessed chair-side with the patient during exams.
• Equipment is expensive; shop around.
• Make sure hardware integrates with practice management software and EHRs.

Benson, B. W. DDS, MS, Liang, H. DDS, PhD, MS, and Flint, D. J. BS, DDS, MS. (2011, Nov./Dec.). Panoramic Radiography: Digital Technology Fosters Efficiency. Compendium, 32 (4); 6-8. Retrieved from July 8, 2012.