An OPG or orthopantomogram is a panoramic or wide view x-ray of the lower face, which shows all the teeth and supporting structures of the upper and lower jaw on a single film. The doctor can see the number, position and growth of all the teeth even those that have not yet erupted. It is very different from the small x-rays that dentists take of individual teeth. An OPG can also reveal issues with the jawbones and the joint which connects the mandible to the head; the Temporomandibular joint or TMJ. Your dentist may advise for an OPG for the planning of orthodontic treatment, for evaluation of wisdom teeth or for a general overview of the entire dentition and the bone which supports the teeth.
How is OPG taken?
In which conditions, an OPG is recommended by the dentist?
- General evaluation of entire dentition and oral health
- Fracture of tooth or jaw
- Sinusitis, Periodontitis or Periapical abscesses
- Growth/ Tumor or cyst
- Assessment of temporomandibular joint for disease, fracture or dislocation
- Evaluation of facial bone diseases
- Foreign body localization
- Identification of stones in salivary glands (sialolithiasis)
- Monitoring of pediatric dentition for the location, shape and angle of teeth
- Identification of supernumerary teeth and absence of tooth germ to prepare for future aesthetic issues
- Initial and continuous evaluation of orthodontic treatment
What equipment is used during an OPG X-ray?
What are the advantages of an OPG?
- Wide coverage of teeth and facial bones including the TMJ (Temporomandibular joint)
- Quick and efficient procedure
- Ease of examination
- Low radiation dose
- Can be used for patients who have restricted mouth opening
- Useful aid for patient education and case presentation
What are some common uses of an OPG X-ray?
An OPG x-ray can reveal dental and medical problems such as:
- Cysts/ growth in the jawbones
- Bone loss/ advanced periodontal disease
- Oral cancer
- Impacted teeth including wisdom teeth
- Disorders of temporomandibular joint
OPG X-ray at RxDx
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