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OPG and Lateral Cephalometry

What is an Orthopantomogram?

An Orthopantomogram, or OPG, is a special type of x-ray that looks at the lower face, teeth, jaw joints and maxillary sinuses. The teeth are displayed in a long flat line. This x-ray is useful to demonstrate the number of teeth as well as their position and growth, and is particularly useful to assess teeth that have not yet surfaced.

What is a Lateral Cephalogram?

A Lateral Cephalogram (or Lat Ceph) is an x-ray taken of the side of the face with very precise positioning, so that various measurements can be made to determine the current and future relationship of the top and bottom jaw (maxilla and mandible) and therefore assess the nature of a patient's bite. This is particularly useful to plan any orthodontic treatment that may be necessary.  

As treatment progresses, it is helpful to have any additional Lat Cephs taken at the same practice so that the x-rays can easily be compared.

What should patients expect when they arrive at the practice?

During the OPG the arm of the machine will rotate slowly around the head but will not come into contact with the patient. The Radiographer (a technologist trained in medical and dental imaging) will instruct the patient to bite on a small plastic mouthpiece attached to the machine, which keeps the top and bottom teeth separated and helps position the mouth properly in the machine.  

For a Lateral Cephalogram you are required to hold still and bite together on the back teeth. Lips should be relaxed. The Radiographer will help ensure that patients are in the correct position before taking the x-ray.  

How long does it take?

The procedure is very brief (about 15 minutes or less) and is painless and simple. It is very important that to follow all instructions and hold absolutely still once positioned.

Images or scan are interpreted by a Dental Radiologist (a dentist with special training in dental imaging and pathology). Patients can either wait for results or alternative arrangements can be made to collect them at a later stage. Please collect  images and results before returning to referrer.

Is there any special preparation required?

There is no special preparation required and there are no after effects following the scan. Once at the practice, patients will be asked to remove any jewellery or metallic items from the head and neck region, including any piercings, hair accessories, dentures and plates, as these often interfere with x-ray image formation and produce unwanted artifacts.

Locations where we offer this procedure:

(No appointment is necessary)

Brisbane
Beenleigh
Browns Plains
Capalaba
CBD Dental
Cleveland
Coorparoo
Greenslopes Private Hospital
Logan Central
Logan Road (Greenslopes)
Loganholme
Mater Private Hospital
QEII Private Hospital
St Vincent's
Sunnybank Private Hospital
Times Square (Sunnybank)
Upper Mount Gravatt
Wynnum

Cairns
Cairns Private Hospital
Westcourt

Cannonvale
Cannonvale

Gold Coast
Southport

Mackay
Mackay Fourways Practice (Nebo Road)
Mater Private Hospital - North Mackay

Townsville
Mater Private Hospital - Pimlico
Mater Private Hospital - Hyde Park
Domain

Toowoomba
Medici Medical Centre
Russell Street
St Vincent's Hospital
Warwick