In summary, errors in panoramic radiography can be attributable to a variety of errors but most commonly technical errors. Technical errors involve considerations of:

  • Patient Preparation
  • Machine Preparation
  • Patient Positioning

Patient positioning errors can result from incorrect anteroposterior, horizontal or vertical positioning errors, hard or soft tissue projection errors or shoulder-receptor/x-ray head interference errors.

When prescribed according to selection criteria, panoramic radiographs provide important additional diagnostic information. While the basic underlying principles of radiography apply to panoramic and intraoral imaging, important differences exist between the two modalities. Recognition of these differences can assist the clinician in consistently producing images of acceptable 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 produced. The clinician must recognize the common presentations of errors and know how to correct them.