Developments of OPG X-Ray (Orthopantomography)

The orthopantomogram, also called an orthopantomography OPG, , is a single-image panoramic radiograph of the mandible, maxilla, and teeth. It is frequently used in dental practice and, on rare occasions, in the emergency room; it provides a straightforward, affordable, and quick technique to evaluate the gross anatomy of the jaws and accompanying pathologies.

This blog talks about what orthopantomography is, what it consists of, why it is done, its advancements and developments, and much more.

What is orthopantomography?

Orthopantomography is a form of X-ray scan that provides a panoramic or comprehensive view of the lower face. It is also known as an OPG X-ray (or simply OPG), panoramic radiography, or a pantogram.

It can display all teeth on both jaws on a single film, including those that have not yet surfaced or erupted, such as wisdom teeth. It also shows the jawbone and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which joins the jaw to the rest of the skull.


This type of radiograph has several indications, including but not limited to:

  • Evaluation of general dental health for caries or pulp origin disease
  • Infection evaluation of sinusitis, periapical abscesses Trauma evaluation for tooth or jaw fractures or periodontitis
  • Assessment of a tumor or radicular cyst
  • Evaluation of the temporomandibular joint for illness, fractures, or dislocations
  • Examination of facial bone disease foreign body location
  • Growth and development of salivary stones (sialolithiasis) Pediatric teeth are monitored for their position, supernumerary tooth presence, angle, shape, and tooth germ absence to prevent or prepare for future aesthetic concerns.
  • Initial and progressive orthodontic treatment evaluation (an OPG alone is not usually sufficient for preoperative inspection or prosthesis measurement)

Patient’s Position

During an OPG, the patient remains in a fixed posture (sitting or standing) while the x-ray source and film spin around the subject. The x-ray source rotates around the patient's front after moving from one side of the jaw to the other. The film rotates in the opposite direction as the x-ray source behind the patient. It only takes a few seconds, and the patient must remain still.

Technical factors

Panoramic Projection

Paused Respiration (departmentally dependent)

Centering Point

Frankfort's horizontal line is perpendicular to the floor

Laser lights will be vendor-specific; however,

central laser light in the midsagittal plane, axial laser light at the IOML, lateral laser light at the lateral incisor.



Detector Size

OPG Specific Detector


70-80 kVp

8-15 mA over a number of seconds



What does OPG X-ray consist of and involve?

It uses brief bursts of low-level radiation, like with all X-rays, to produce images of the inside of the body, in this case, the bones and teeth.

The dental panoramic radiography process comprises the patient resting their chin on a little shelf in front of the X-ray machine, chewing softly on a sterile mouthpiece, and maintaining the head and mouth still for a clear image.

The revolving arm of the panoramic X-ray machine has the X-ray source at one end and the film mechanism (which records the image) at the other. The component revolves around the head to get a broad view of the patient's mouth and jaw. The process is finished in a flash and painless, as with any X-ray, and the patient can continue their normal activities immediately.

Why is an OPG X-ray done?

Orthopantomography is a dental technique that enables the dentist to see all of the patient's teeth, including those that haven't yet come in, and count, position, and measure them. To plan orthodontic treatment, assess their development, find wisdom teeth, look at the jawbone, or get a general idea of the patient's oral health, an OPG X-ray is prescribed.

Advances and developments

Dental X-ray technology is transitioning from conventional film technology to digital X-ray technology, which produces images utilizing electronic sensors and computers. With digital X-rays, there is no need to wait for the film to develop before reviewing the images. They also produce images of higher quality the first time, requiring fewer repeat scans and lowering the radiation dose to the patient.