How Panorex X-Rays Are Used in Dentistry

A panorex X-ray is a two-dimensional X-ray used in the dental field. It displays both jaws, the upper and lower, as well as the teeth, on the same film at the same time.

A dentist viewing an x-ray on a computer screen
David Sacks / The Image Bank / Getty Images


Panorex films have several uses since they expose areas of the jaw that cannot be detected by traditonal x-ray film. The two-dimensional images are used by dentists for the following:

Your dentist may also refer you to have 3D X-rays taken with newer X-ray machines.


During the panorex X-ray, the patient is asked to bite down on a special tool that assists the operator in positioning the patients head in the correct position. The patient is asked to stay very still while the panorex machine travels around the outside of the patients head. The image is either displayed digitally on a computer or processed onto traditional X-ray film, to be used by the dentist.

Your dentist may recommend a panorex every five years, or whenever necessary for your specific situation.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Panoramic Dental X-ray.

  2. Panorex-Xray.

  3. Decisions in Dentistry. Optimal Panorex Imaging.

  4. Cigna. Types of Dental X-Rays and How Often You Need Them.

By Shawn Watson
Shawn Watson is an orthodontic dental assistant and writer with over 10 years of experience working in the field of dentistry.