Orthopantomograms provide a panoramic view of the mouth, teeth and bones of the upper and lower jaws using X-rays. Dentists use OPGs to see the whole mouth, for information on impacted wisdom teeth, finding the source of dental pain and assessment for the placement of implants.
The procedure is quick and simple, each scan takes a few seconds. The patient stands in the centre of the machine, to keep their head still they will be asked to bite on a sterile guide and place their chin on a chin rest. The available hand rails make it easy to stand in place for the short time required. The full appointment length should be no longer than 30 minutes.
OPG scans use ionizing radiation, the dosage is equivalent to what would be experienced normally over a number of weeks or months. The benefit of having accurate information from an OPG will have been judged against the very small risks from the radiation before your doctor or dentist refers you. For more information visit NHS.UK: X-Rays or GOV.UK: patient dose information
Is there any preparation?
This procedure requires little to no special preparation. Wear comfortable clothing and remove jewellery that may obscure the image. Tell your doctor if there is a possibility you are pregnant.