OPG and Ceph

At Painfree Dentistry we offer special x-rays that can provide a view of the lower face, teeth and jaws. These x-rays are called an OPG (Orthopantomogram) and a Lat Ceph (Lateral Cephalometric Radiograph). With this technology, we can:

  • See teeth that have not erupted
  • Check for problems with the jawbone
  • Check for orthodontic issues
  • Get an overview of your teeth and bones
  • Make sure you are getting the best care

What is an OPG?

An OPG shows a panoramic view (wide view) of the lower face. This includes your mouth, upper and lower jaw, bones and teeth. The x-ray displays all this on a single film. An x-ray like this shows the number of the teeth you have even if they have not erupted yet. Your dentist can also see the position of each tooth.

This technology is different to some of the x-rays as the other ones only show close shots of an individual tooth. OPGs are also used to detect problems with the jawbone, this includes the joint that connects the jawbone to your head. This is called the Temporomandibular joint or TMJ. These x-rays are also a great tool for assessing wisdom teeth and to get an overview about the health of your teeth and bones. If you require orthodontic treatment your dentist may perform this x-ray.

What to Expect During an OPG?

During your x-ray, you may be asked to remove any metal objects. This is because objects like these can obstruct the images. Items you may be asked to remove are jewellery and glasses. When you are ready you will be asked to rest your face on a shelf. Then you will be instructed to gently bite on a mouth piece. This is a sterile piece of equipment that is used to keep your head steady. Your head needs to be kept steady because you need to stay still while the x-ray is happening. This is a painless procedure that will not give you any discomfort.

What is a Lat Ceph?

A Lat Ceph shows the lateral view of your face. This x-ray shows a side view of your face which shows your facial contours and bones. Just like OPG this will be shown on one single film. As it shows the bones and contours these x-rays are generally used for orthodontic treatment. Your dentist may recommend a Lat Ceph for diagnosis and during treatment.

What to Expect During a Lat Ceph?

Just like the OPG you may be asked to remove any metal objects. This includes jewellery. When you are ready to begin you will be asked to stand with your head against the x-ray machine. This is so the machine can be adjusted for your own comfort. When it has been adjusted plastic supports will be put on each ear. It is like wearing headphones. This just makes sure that your face is exactly where it should be. This is completely painless and comfortable.