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Panorex or full-mouth series for wisdom teeth removal? Help!



Well-known member
Aug 13, 2014
A traumatic childhood dental experience led to my lifelong dental phobia and, as a result, I've sometimes put off going to the dentist. Week before last, I went for the first time in about four years. The dentist took bitewing xrays, checked my teeth and informed me that I needed quite a few fillings - 6 to be exact, some of which are touch-ups on old fillings -- plus a crown on a tooth that had a root canal several years ago. He also said I really should have my wisdom teeth out.

I am not sure I want to continue at my current dentist's office unless he personally is able to help me. He is set to retire at the end of the year and has scaled back his working hours to two days a week while two new dentists begin taking over his practice. His office wanted me to come back for a consult with one of the new dentists and to also do a full-mouth set of xrays, which I already had done four years ago.

On the recommendation of a family friend, I went to see a different dentist today and had my newest xrays forwarded to him. He pretty much said the same thing as the my current dentist, but added that three other teeth needed crowns because they had cracks in them. My current dentist only mentioned the possibility of one crown on the root-canal tooth and did not say anything about cracks in other teeth. The second-opinion dentist wants me to do a panorex xray on my next visit, not a full-mouth set. If I go with him, I am looking at around $7,000 of dental work, which seems quite high to me.

I am so confused now about which dentist to go with. The dentist today said the panorex xray will determine how close my lower wisdom tooth roots are to the nerve so that he or the oral surgeon can be more precise and minimize the risk of nerve damage when extracting them. My current dentist said he was not concerned about nerve damage since the wisdom teeth have already erupted through the gums.

I don't know which type of xray is preferable in the case of wisdom teeth. Also, I've mentioned to both dentists that I am very concerned about radiation exposure, given that my mother died of brain cancer several years ago. Neither one seems to care much about my concerns over radiation exposure. I don't know what to do. Help! :(
Hi there,

I, too, had a traumatic childhood incident with a dentist. I currently have a long road ahead of me concerning dental work, but believe me when I say in the end it's the cost that hurts the most :)

I actually had the full mouth X-ray to see about my wisdom teeth and that's how it was discovered I had so many cavities-- yikes! The cost of having a panorex at a reasonable dentist seems to generally be a little over a hundred dollars, although I know there are some dentists that charge a CRAZY amount like $300...

My best suggestion is that you go to the dentist you feel the most comfortable with, who you think will do the best work. It's so hard where I live to find a decent dentist, and that's one of the other reasons I've stayed away. Although the cost of the one dentist seems really high, it depends a lot on the work being done and just how much that dentist charges in general, plus dental work is expensive...although I definitely think that's really high, too. I went to a horrid dentist and he charged way more than the dentist I'm now going to who is associated with him. So a lot of it depends on simply the dentist you're going to and how much they charge, although I can tell you root canals are never cheap.

In the end you have to go with your gut feeling, I guess. If you haven't trusted or felt good about any of the dentists you've currently seen, then if there is a dentist with a good reputation you want to try out I would. I hope you figure out what you want to do and everything goes well.

Best wishes!

I edited this this to add that I'm truly sorry about the loss of your mother. Brain cancer is never even something I've much considered. I don't think radiation from dental X-rays is going to cause you cancer or some sort of serious complications, but I'm sure it's not like you want to constantly be exposed to it. Try not to worry and if you're really concerned about it speak with your dentist about the issue and they should be able to reassure you.