An orthopantomogram (OPG) is a panoramic x-ray of your whole jaw which your dentist uses to radiographically examine the overall condition of your teeth and their supporting structures. Often, certain diseases which have no clinical signs and symptoms are detected as an incidental finding during these routine dental x-rays. As such, the current recommendation is that an OPG x-ray is taken every five years for screening purposes.

7 Reasons your dentist might request a whole mouth x-ray:
1.General assessment of dentition and supporting structures – teeth, bone, jaw joints and sinuses.
2. Prior to: extracting teeth, fabricating denture(s), implant planning and placement.
3. Assessment of wisdom teeth.
4. Assessment of periodontal disease and underlying bone loss.
5. Examination of temporomandibular or jaw joints.
6. Detection of any bony pathology – cysts, tumours and broken jaws.
7. Assessment of developing adult teeth in children.

Whilst whole mouth x-rays may show advanced decay lesions in teeth they often lack the high resolution required to detect early decay lesions. Therefore, your dentist may also recommend intra-oral or ‘close-up’ x-rays to assess for dental caries.

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