It is performed using a technique called "tomography". The X-ray tube moves around the head, the x-ray film moves in the opposite direction behind your head. This generates an image slice where the mandible and teeth are in focus, and the other structures are blurred.
Why to get it ?
Dental Disease* Caries - appear as different shaped areas of radiolucency in the crowns or necks of teeth.
* Peridontioiditis - when inflammation extends into the underlying alveolar bone and there is a loss of attachment.
* Peridontal Abscess - Radiolucent area surrounding the roots of the teeth.
Extraction of teeth (eg. wisdom teeth)* OPG shows angulation, shape of roots, size and shape of crown, effect on other teeth.
Teeth Abnormalities* Eg. Developmental, to show size, number, shape and position.
Trauma to teeth and facial skeleton* Mandible fractures are often bilateral.
* Panoramic view of mandible to view the fracture.
* Determine site and direction of fracture lines.
* Relationship of teeth to fracture lines.
* Alignment of bone fragments after healing.
* Evidence of infection or other complications post intervention.
* Follow up to assess healing.
Transplant workup* To look for evidence of any underlying dental disease (eg. abscess)
* Patients on steriods after a transplant are immunosuppressed and the mouth is a common site of infection.