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The device used for taking panoramic x-rays is different from that for routine x-rays. In order to be able to get an image of the entire mouth, including the joints and the position of your teeth, the x-ray apparatus will move around your head (it will be mobile and non-static) and will be pointed towards your cheek or the front of your mouth.
Rest assured, x-ray devices are rigorously and regularly inspected. Although the dose of x-ray is calibrated to minimize the risk of radiation exposure, the number of radiographs should be limited for a given period of time.
Thus, a dentist may often agree to lend or duplicate a panoramic radiograph to avoid additional exposure for the patient. Nowadays, some dental clinics can be equipped with a digital radiology device, but the procedure for taking x-rays will be very similar.