The panoramic x-ray is an especially useful diagnostic aid in Pediatric Dentistry.
Although this x-ray is over-utilized, there are very good reasons to obtain a panoramic film at a specific stage of head and neck development.
At that time that all 4 permanent incisors have erupted in the top jaw, the panoramic film provides lots of useful information regarding position and eruption paths of the teeth, as well as the presence or congenital absence of permanent teeth, a very common finding.
The panoramic x-ray is most useful in identifying those patients that are at risk for developing impacted canine (eye teeth).
In those patients, early diagnosis and subsequent extraction of baby eye teeth has a very good chance of preventing impaction and subsequent surgery.