An OPG (Orthopantomogram) is a panoramic scanning dental X-ray of the upper and lower jaws, including the teeth. The OPG unit is specifically designed to rotate around the patient’s head during the scan.
It shows a flattened two-dimensional view of a half-circle from ear to ear. Panoramic x-rays allow images of multiple angles to be taken to make up the composite panoramic image, where the maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw) are in the viewed area.
An OPG also demonstrates the number, position and growth of all the teeth including those that have not yet surfaced or erupted through the gum.
Fraser Coast Radiology uses a highly respected Planmeca Proline XC for dedicated dental images
Why would I have an OPG?
A dental x-ray is requested when your dentist needs to examine your teeth, mouth and jaw in great detail.
While every patient is different, common reasons for referral include:
- To detect tooth decay that’s occurring between the teeth or under an existing filling
- To detect damage to the bones that support the teeth (bone loss)
- To identify dental injuries such as broken tooth roots or nerve infections
- To detect teeth that are abnormally placed or that don’t break through the gums properly (impacted teeth)
- To detect cysts, tumors, or abscesses caused by certain dental problems
- To plan treatment for large or extensive cavities, root canal surgery, placement of dental implants, or difficult tooth removals
- To plan treatment of teeth that are not properly aligned (orthodontic treatment)
How do I prepare for an OPG?
No preparation is needed for a dental x-ray and you will not be required to change into a gown. However, you will be asked to remove any jewellery or metallic items from your neck and head area. This is because metal causes an artefact on the x-ray and may obscure any abnormalities in your teeth, jaw or mouth.
Do I require a referral from my doctor?
Yes you will need a referral from your doctor or dentist.
How long will it take?
Your examination will take around 15 minutes in total.
There are no side-effects to an OPG and you can resume normal activity after having one.
When will I get the results?
Your results will be available shortly after your scan.
What will it cost?
If you have a current Medicare card and referral form from your health practitioner your scan may be Bulk-billed. Medicare rebates depend on the type of study requested by your doctor. If your scan has an out-of-pocket expense, we will let you know when you book your appointment.