An OPG is a panoramic or wide view x-ray of the lower face, which displays all the teeth of the upper and lower jaw on a single film.  It demonstrates the number, position and growth of all the teeth including those that have not yet surfaced or erupted. It is different from the small close up x-rays dentists take of individual teeth. An OPG may also reveal problems with the jawbone and the joint which connects the jawbone to the head, called the Temporomandibular joint or TMJ. An OPG may be requested for the planning of orthodontic treatment, for assessment of wisdom teeth or for a general overview of the teeth and the bone which supports the teeth.

What to Tell Us?

If you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant.

How to Prepare?

You should arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time to complete all necessary paperwork.

No other preparation is required for an OPG.

Bring any previous x-ray films with you to the appointment in case they are needed for comparison.

What does the procedure involve?

The patient’s chin is placed on a chin rest. The jaws are held in place by biting down on a small disposable plastic guide. Most OPGs are performed with the patient standing. During the exposure, the X-ray tube and film cassette rotate around the jaws. An exposure lasts a few seconds during which time the patient must remain still. The film cassette is then removed to allow development of the exposed X-ray film. If a lateral cephalogram is required, the head is placed in a special support on the end of the lateral cephalogram attachment for accurate positioning and an X-ray obtained.

How long will it take?

OPG procedures can take up to 15 minutes