Periodic and comprehensive oral evaluations at your dental office frequently employ the use of radiographs (X-rays), to help visualize your teeth and bones in ways not possible via the naked eye. Accidentally discovered on November 8, 1895 by German physics professor Wilhelm Röntgen, X-rays, have been a staple of modern medicine ever since.
Since that time, many improvements to the delivery of X-ray radiation have also been accomplished, and today, exposure has been minimized dramatically. In fact, digital X-rays, which deliver even less radiation than traditional film-based X-rays, have quickly become commonplace in dental offices throughout the world.
In this procedure, a single two-dimensional panoramic X-ray is taken of the upper and lower mandible area (or even parts of the skull and neck, depending on the placement of the machine and your doctor’s intent). The service is recommended every three to five years to assess your broad dental health, or to plan for implants, orthodontic work and the removal of wisdom teeth. It is worth noting that while a panoramic X-ray shows more surface area of the teeth and surrounding bone structure, it is a poor predictor of periodontal disease, and thus is used more to detect other physical abnormalities that can pose a significant concern to one's health. For example, tumors and cysts frequently show up on such X-rays, as do the sinuses and nerve canals.
Please note that the word “film” in “Panoramic Film” can be used interchangeably to represent both digital and traditional film-based X-rays, because the code does not discriminate between either process.
To look up and find more cdt dental codes from the American Dental Association, please visit our complete Dental Procedure Code Library.