The subjective image quality of panoramic radiographs shown on a diagnostic computer monitor were compared with professional direct thermal prints and with common inkjet prints on different paper qualities. Indirect digital panoramic radiographs were obtained from 15 patients. The images were printed with a direct thermal printer in their original format. Afterwards, these were loaded in an imaging software programme (Microsoft Photo Editor) and assessed both on computer monitor and inkjet prints on transparency, glossy, satin and regular paper. Five observers assessed subjective image quality for different regions and anatomical landmarks on a 5-point rating scale. Data were statistically analysed and inter- and intra-observer performances were calculated. Best image quality was obtained with direct thermal prints, followed in descending order by panoramic images viewed on the monitor, inkjet prints on transparencies, glossy paper, satin paper and finally regular paper. The differences were significant except for monitor images versus direct thermal prints, inkjet-transparencies and inkjet-glossy images and inkjet-satin versus inkjet-glossy images. The subjective image quality of indirect digital panoramic images is different for images shown on the computer monitor and for printed images depending on both the printer and paper type used.