In summary, errors in panoramic imaging can be attributed to a variety of factors but most commonly technical errors. Technical errors involve considerations of machine preparation, patient preparation and patient positioning.
Patient positioning errors can result from incorrect horizontal, vertical, or anteroposterior positioning errors, hard or soft tissue projection errors or shoulder-receptor/x-ray head interference errors.
When prescribed according to selection criteria, panoramic images provide important additional diagnostic information. While the basic underlying principles of radiography apply to panoramic and intraoral imaging, significant differences exist between the two modalities. Recognition of these differences can assist the clinician in consistently producing images of diagnostic quality. Panoramic imaging is a complex process requiring machine and patient preparation prior to patient positioning and subsequent exposure. Each panoramic image should be assessed according to specific criteria to ensure quality results are achieved. The clinician must recognize the common presentations of errors and know how to correct them to maintain quality and reduce patient re-exposure due to retakes.