Digital x-rays are an outstanding technology that drastically reduce the overall radiation exposure to the patient, but also allow for manipulation of the x-ray for diagnostic purposes. A full series of digital x-rays gives the patient the same radiation exposure as spending a few hours in the sun. Regardless of the minimal radiation exposure, precautions are still taken to limit this radiation.
Panoramic digital x-rays are excellent for getting an overall look at the patients upper and lower jaws and teeth all in the same x-ray. These are excellent for giving a brief overview of bone levels, identifying abnormalities/diseases, looking at teeth prior to an extraction, and locating anatomical landmarks before a procedure. A panoramic x-ray should be taken once every 5 years.