Q: Why does my child need a panoramic x-ray?
A: A panoramic x-ray or “pan” allows us to find missing or extra teeth, teeth that are out of position (ectopic) or headed the wrong direction. Cysts, tumors and other abnormalities can be ruled out as well. We normally take a pan for the first time at around age 6. If your child is a candidate for braces, a pan is important to determine treatment needs. When your child reaches age 17 or so, a pan allows us to check on the position of the developing wisdom teeth (third molars).
Q: Why do you need x-rays?
A: It is very difficult to see between the back teeth in your child’s mouth. A cavity might be starting there that we could not see without an x-ray. Pre-school children at this age are more prone to cavities between the teeth, and early detection saves money and minimizes treatment needed to repair them. These back teeth are needed until the child is about 12, so thoroughly examining them early by x-ray is vital.