Orthopantomography (abbreviated OPG) is a standard technique used for imaging purposes in modern dentistry. It is employed in order to create dental X-Ray images in “panoramic format“ and is frequently referred to as Panoramic Tomographic Imaging.
The main advantage of this two-dimensional technique lies in its display width. An orthopantomogram is employed whenever the dentist needs to take a closer look at vast parts of the jaw. This technique enables a display of all teeth including their roots, the upper and lower jaw along with the mandibular joints as well as maxillary sinuses in the form of a semicircle from one ear to the other. The output is a “rolled out“ representation of the jaw, similar to a world map. Also, implants can be illustrated well.
OPG can be run in a classic manner, e.g. via an X-Ray film procedure, or – which tends to be more common in modern practices – via a digital procedure with all the advantages it brings.
In contrast to the dental film, the acquisition unit and the X-Ray tube are not located in the oral cavity, but instead run around the patient’s head in opposite directions and without touching one another.