Tuesday, May 26, 2015


What is this pano thing my dentist wants?

Your dentist just asked you for a pano and if you are like most patients, you don't know a pano from pantyhose. And no, it's not some kind of French bread.  We've all had film or digital x-rays taken at least once in our lives, but many patients are unaware of the importance of having a strange new x-ray (since 1985) casually referred to by dentists as a pano. 

Panoramic radiographs (aka or tomographic x-ray) show an ear to ear 180 degree view of the patient’s jaws and all the teeth as well as much of the head and neck anatomy. 

The machine used is different than the standard x-ray unit as the patient generally stands while the x-ray unit travels on a semi-circular track around the patient’s head.

A pano will show in greater detail impacted wisdom teeth, bone loss, often sources of dental pain in temporomandibular disorder (tmj), dental implant, oral trauma and orthodontic assessments.

The image quality is vastly superior to conventional film-based systems and of great importance to oral surgeons and maxillofacial specialists in assessing a patient’s suitability for conventional, mini dental implants, or other procedures. Cone 3D Technology is a new advancement to digital pano devices.

Get a pano from a specialist at home in advance or have one made in your dental vacation destination (assuming you are not going to Timbuktu). The costs will range from $150us to $300 in Seattle or Montreal vs. $30 to $60 with a dentist in Manila or Puerto Vallarta using the same panoramic x-ray units. 

It doesn't matter whether you have your pano made in New York, Los Angeles or in Tijuana. Except for price and your convenience.

What does matter is having the assessment for implants or other surgeries before you get in the dentist's chair and the work performed by a board certified dentist.  

With a pano to study your specialist dentist can often recommend several options for you from conventional dental implants, mini implants, One-Day, 4 n 1, implant secured dentures, traditional dentures and others. 

All possible solutions to your case depend on the results of  the pano and an in-chair examination where the doctor will check your gum health, movability of your teeth and more.

For the best opinions and estimates - get a pano from your specialist at home with the understanding that they will email it to your board certified dentist in Mexico for a 2nd opinion (and estimate). They are used to sending each other x-rays online and it will save you the trouble of going to a Staples or Office Max to have their staff do it.

Do understand the dentist in Mexico will still need to do a clinical exam to complete their evaluation. But by doing it this way, you will get two fairly accurate prices - one from your specialist at home and one from a board certified dentist in Mexico. 

One final note: Be sure to choose a Board Certified Mexico Dentist Association dentist in Mexico. They are less than 1% of the dentists in Mexico but do the best work for the same money as general dentists in Mexico. 

By David Mandich for Dental Tourism News Today

Dental Implant & Panoramic x-ray article reposted with permission of author David Mandich and original publisher Dental Tourism News Today. This article  may be republished as long as all original authorship and links remain. 

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