In a retrospective study, the prevalence of carotid artery calcifications on routine screening panoramic radiographs of a Dutch Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery department was investigated. Individuals older than 45 without a history of CVA, TIA or head and neck radiotherapy were included. Technically useful radiographs were available for 145 males (mean age 59.6 years) and 303 females (mean age 58.5 years). Both a dentist and an oral maxillofacial surgeon examined these radiographs for radio-opaque lesions adjacent or below the C3-C4 intervertebral space. Forty-two individuals with asymptomatic carotid artery calcifications were identified (9.4% of the study population; mean age 68.2 years): 18 men (12.4%; mean age 66.2 years) and 24 women (7.9%; mean age 69.7 years). In 90% of cases the calcifications were bilateral. These results indicate that panoramic radiographs obtained during the course of routine dental treatment may identify calcified carotid atheromas in asymptomatic subjects.