Dental OPG

Dental OPG with Cephalometry


An orthopantomogram (OPG) is an X-ray image of your whole mouth, including your upper and lower jaw and teeth. The X-ray machine moves around your head while taking the image. This provides a complete ear to ear image of your mouth and teeth. It is used to: 

  • look at impacted wisdom teeth
  • help find the cause of dental pain
  • view the position of dental implants
  • help assess teeth for orthodontic treatment 

Before the procedure can take place, you will need to remove glasses, dentures and any jewellery from your head and neck (such as earrings and necklaces) as well as any hairclips. 

You must tell your doctor or technologist if you are, or think you could be, pregnant as X-rays are not recommended for pregnant women unless there is an urgent medical reason. 

The orthopantomogram will be carried out by a technologist. He or she will explain the procedure. You will be asked to stand in front of the X-ray machine. A peg will be put into a slot on the machine and you’ll be asked to bite onto this. Below the peg are two handles which you’ll need to hold to keep your balance as we may need to ask you to lean backwards to get the best possible picture. When you are in the right position, the radiographer will use a clamp to gently hold your head in place and stop it from moving. This doesn’t hurt. Once you are in place, the machine starts to move around your head. It usually makes a strange noise. While it is moving it can touch your shoulders. Try not to move as this will blur the image and may mean the procedure has to be repeated. 

The test usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

Cephalometry uses specialised imaging equipment to make accurate measurements to determine the current and future relationship of the top and bottom jaw (maxilla and mandible) and therefore assess the nature of a patient's bite. This is type of imaging is commonly used to plan orthodontic treatment.