What Is An OPG (Orthopantogram)?


An OPG is a specialised X-ray image that uses radiation to create pictures of bones and teeth around the mouth. GVIG uses state-of-the-art digital OPG equipment, resulting in a reduced amount of radiation being used, whilst still achieving excellent image quality.

Preparation For My OPG

Generally, you are not required to make any special preparation for a basic x-ray.
You will usually be asked to remove any metal objects such as jewellery and necklaces as these can show up on the x-ray and therefore affect the quality of the image.

What Happens During My OPG?

During your OPG you will be asked to stand in the middle of the machine and bite down on a bite peg. This will enable the radiographer to obtain the best possible digital image.

In the course of your x-ray you will be asked to remain as still as possible in order to improve the quality of the image. Any movement during an x-ray may blur the image, much like a photograph appears blurred when someone moves. Should this happen, the image may need to be repeated.

How Long Will My OPG Take?

Usually an OPG will only take a few minutes, however it may be necessary for you to wait while the images are reviewed by the radiographer to see if any more images are needed.

Are There Any After Effects Or Risks With An OPG?

There are no after effects from a general x-ray and you will be able to resume your normal activities immediately.
During your OPG, you will be exposed to a low level of radiation. Experts feel that the risk to your health from this is very small, as the low risk is far outweighed by the benefits from your test.

If you are pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, please tell your doctor and our staff, before your x-ray, as an x-ray may affect an unborn baby.

What Are The Benefits Of An OPG?

OPG X-rays are both an effective and quick way of evaluating dentition and bony structure.

Who Performs The OPG?

The person who operates the OPG x-ray and digital radiography equipment to take your images is a qualified Radiographer. They have completed tertiary qualifications and are registered with the Medical Radiation Practitioners Board of Victoria. Additionally, they have been licensed by the Department of Human Services to use radiation.

Who Reports My OPG?

Once all your images have been taken, they will be viewed by the Radiologist (a medical doctor with specialist credentialing and qualifications from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists – RANZCR).
The Radiologist will then prepare a written report for your doctor. This report should be received within 1 – 2 working days. If you have a doctor’s appointment already scheduled please let our staff know so that we can ensure your report is sent to your doctor prior to your appointment.
In most settings your dentist also wants to review the images. In some settings you will take a copy with you at the end of the examination for their assessment.

Further Questions

Should you have any further questions please feel free to contact us and ask to speak to a Radiographer or the Practice Manager.