Dental X-Ray – OPG (Orthopantomogram)

These are special x-rays of the lower face, teeth and jaws. An OPG provides a panoramic view of the mouth, teeth and bones of the upper and lower jaws.

What is an OPG?

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.


You may be asked to remove jewellery, eyeglasses, and any metal objects that may obscure the images. You will be asked to stand with your face resting on a small shelf and to bite gently on a sterile mouth piece to steady your head. It is important to stay very still while the x-ray is taken. You will not feel any discomfort during the procedure.

Are there any side effects?

Side effects from general or dental x-rays are incredibly rare. During your examination you will be exposed to a very small amount of radiation. The benefits of detecting disease are believed to far outweigh any potential risks from receiving such a small dose. Elsternwick Dental Group have rigorous protocols to ensure that the radiation dose given is the lowest possible dose to produce diagnostic quality images.

How long will the examination take?

General and dental x-rays are typically very simple procedures and most examinations would be completed within 10 - 15 minutes.