What is a Dental OPG

Smiles Centre Swindon has just had a dental OPG machine installed

What is an OPG machine?

A dental OPG is a panoramic wide view x-ray of the mouth which displays all the teeth on a single image. Part of the machine then rotates around your head as the images are being taken. During a cephalogram procedure, you will be asked to stand or sit in front of the x-ray machine and small pegs will be placed in your ears to help align your head. The scan typically takes less than 30 seconds to complete.

OPG machine at Smiles centre Swindon Dentist

The practice can use the image to evaluate and diagnose treatments, they are often taken prior to oral surgery such as implants or complicated extractions.

Smiles Centre charges £75 to patients of the practice for an OPG but this is reduced for those patients that are currently on a Smiles Centre payment plan. You can find out more about our Smile Plans here.

What are the radiation risks?

What are the benefits vs. risks?


  • No radiation remains in a patient’s body after an x-ray examination.
  • X-rays usually have no side effects in the typical diagnostic range for this exam.
  • Panoramic x-rays can be used for very young children since the film does not have to be placed inside the mouth.


  • Women should always inform their dentist or oral surgeon if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

What are the limitations of dental opg Panoramic X-ray?

A panoramic x-ray does not provide precise and detailed information about each individual tooth or soft tissues, such as the muscles. It is generally used as an initial evaluation of the bones and teeth. Because your mouth is curved, the panoramic x-ray can sometimes create a slightly blurry image where accurate measurements of your teeth and jaw are not possible. If your dentist or surgeon needs more information, a computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be ordered. This may include Dental Cone Beam CT, an imaging exam developed specifically for this part of the body.


Leave a Reply