Orthopantomogram, or OPG, is an X-ray which 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, such as wisdom teeth.
Lateral Cephalogram (or Lat Ceph) is an X-ray of the side of your face with very precise positioning. This is done so measurements can be taken to determine the current and future relationship of the top and bottom jaw (maxilla and mandible) and therefore assess the nature of your bite. This is particularly useful to plan 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 be easily compared.
How do I prepare?
- There is no preparation required for OPG or Lat Cephs.
- You will be asked to remove any jewellery or metal items from your head and neck area including hair accessories, dentures and plates.
- You will not be able to have this scan if you are pregnant.
Technology and Team
Each of our practices use different equipment. Your OPG and Lat Ceph will be conducted by an experienced Radiographer.
A Radiographer (or Medical Imaging Technologist) is a university trained health professional who operates medical imaging equipment such as CT, X-ray and MRI scanners.
Radiographers work closely with Radiologists to ensure the best image is taken to assist with clinical diagnosis and to monitor or treat a patients illness or injury. Radiographers have a thorough understanding of the body’s structure, how it is affected by injury, and the causes and effects of disease.
What happens during my examination
You will be asked to stand inside the scanner while the scanner moves around your head. This takes approximately 10-15 seconds and it will not touch you.
During your scan you may be required to bite onto a mouthpiece attached to the machine. Your Radiographer will explain where and how to bite depending on the scan type.
After your examination
The results of your OPG or Lat Ceph scan will be sent directly to your referring Doctor and we encourage you book a timely follow-up appointment to discuss your results with them.