An OPG is a panoramic 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.

Benefits of an OPG :

  1. Painless, fast and easy
  2. No radiation is left in your body after the OPG is finished

Risks of an OPG:

  1. Your doctor, dentist or dental specialist knows the risks of having an OPG and will consider the risks before recommending you have this type of X-ray.

Possible risks are

  1. An extremely small chance of injury to a developing fetus
  2. An extremely small chance you could develop cancer in the long term from the radiation. However, if you need the examination, the potential benefits
  3. will outweigh this small risk


Bring your referral letter or request form and all OPG X-rays taken within the last 2 years with you. Leave the X-rays with the medical imaging staff as the doctor may need to look at them. The staff member will tell you when these are ready to be picked up.

Leave all jewellery and valuables at home.

Important to tell your doctor before the OPG:

If you are or may be pregnant.

What happens during an OPG?

Medical imaging staff will ask you to sit on a chair or stand for the OPG. It is important that you tell the staff if you have difficulty sitting or standing unassisted. The radiographer may place a protective shield over the parts of your body not being X-rayed, or you may be asked to wear a protective apron.

When you are ready, the radiographer will go behind a screen to start the OPG machine. They will ask you to be still during the OPG. When your OPG is finished you will be asked to wait while the radiographer checks the pictures. The procedure usually takes about 5 minutes including time taken to get ready.