OPG – Orthopantomogram
An orthopantomogram (OPG) is a type of full-mouth x-ray, specialised for dental care. They are used on patients who require a full image of an entire jaw, making the panoramic image from an OPG so useful for certain examinations.
Why are OPGs used?
OPGs are used to view the entire mouth and jaw with a panoramic style. Because of this, OPGs are great options for everyday dental check-ups, but they can also be very useful for certain types of treatments too. As panoramic x-rays show the entire mouth of the patient, they would not show intricacies needed to show a cavity, for example. Instead, they are good at shows fractures and bone deformities, infections or example, and impacted teeth.
How do they work?
The OPG machine will effectively rotate around the patient’s head extraorally, which will be positioned correctly by the radiographer to achieve this effect. No other equipment would be necessary.
Are they dangerous?
In general, dental x-rays are generally considered safe to use, as deformities expose patients to very little radiation from one x-ray session. It is believed that people are exposed to more radiation from their day-to-day life than a single x-ray session. You will be warned by your dentist that a panoramic will produce 0.02 mSv, which is more than the 0.005 mSv produced by a standard bitewing x-ray. Aside from this, panoramic x-rays are still considered to be safe to use but speak with your dentist personally if you have a high level of anxiety about being having your x-ray taken.