The procedure of panoramic dental imaging (OPTG) can scare those who are not yet familiar with it, but for some people it is absolutely necessary. What is OPTG, how can a panoramic X-ray of teeth be used to examine not only the teeth, but also other tissues, and why a panoramic image gives much more than several individual X-rays and is much more convenient?

Let’s consider the essence of the procedure, its strengths and weaknesses, to whom it is suitable, and to whom, on the contrary, it is not, and also determine why it is important.

What is the essence of the dental panoramic imaging procedure?

During a panoramic image of the teeth, with the help of an extremely small dose of radiation, it is possible to record the condition of the entire oral area with special equipment. This procedure is performed very often and is an indispensable tool in dentistry.

Moreover, this procedure does not require serious preparation from the patient. The most important thing that the doctor needs to know about – and it is necessary to warn about this – is the possible pregnancy of the patient. So what is a dental panoramic?

  A panoramic image of the teeth (orthopantomogram) is a type of X-ray image of all the teeth of both jaws, which allows you to make a general overview of the state of the entire oral cavity. In addition to the image of the actual teeth of the upper and lower jaws, OPTG also covers the adjacent tissues and structures.

Among other applications, a dental panoramic image is used in medicine to provide a comprehensive view of the entire structure of the oral cavity and face without the need for multiple separate x-rays.

How is a panoramic photo of the teeth made?

To begin with, the patient is placed in front of the machine, which rotates the X-ray source around the head. A dental scan is performed in a few seconds, during which an X-ray beam passes through the jaws and head structures, registering the image on an electronic sensor.

In this way, you can get a picture of both jaws of good quality and get information about almost the entire oral cavity. This greatly simplifies the process of creating an X-ray image and gives an understanding of many possible problems of the oral cavity at once.

What is the OPTG algorithm?

In general, the algorithm for conducting OPTG can be outlined as follows:

  • Preparation. Before the procedure, the patient is asked to remove all metal objects, including jewelry, glasses, piercings, etc., after which the head is placed in a special apparatus for fixing the head and jaws.
  • Positioning of the Head and Jaws. The next stage is the necessary fixation: the patient’s head is held in a certain position, and the jaws are placed in such a way as to obtain the best and most clear picture possible.
  • Hardware settings. The equipment must be adjusted: the medical worker prepares the equipment for conducting OPTG, determines the irradiation parameters and makes other adjustments.
  • Patient instruction. In order for the panoramic image of the jaw to be as high-quality as possible, the patient is instructed on how to hold the head and jaws.
  • Rating Picture. After the procedure is completed, the medical specialist analyzes the obtained image, assesses the condition of the teeth, jaws and adjacent structures.
  • Conclusions. A dentist or radiologist makes a conclusion based on the obtained OPTG and announces the results to the patient.

It is important to note that OPTG is a painless procedure and takes only a few minutes. It is an important tool for diagnosis and treatment planning in dentistry and maxillofacial surgery. Taking a picture of the teeth in this way is much easier and safer than through several procedures.

What equipment is used?

Orthopantomography (OPTG) uses special devices called orthopantomographs or panoramic X-ray machines. These devices are specially designed to obtain a panoramic image of the entire maxillofacial area.

Strengths and weaknesses of the procedure

A panoramic photo of the teeth is really extremely important from the point of view of medicine. However, this procedure also has its strengths and weaknesses:

Strengths of the Orthopantomography (OPTG) procedure

  • OPTG provides a complete panoramic view of the entire maxillofacial area, including the upper and lower jaws, teeth, joints and adjacent tissues. The procedure is quick and convenient, usually taking only a few minutes to obtain a three-dimensional image. OPTG uses less radiation compared to other x-ray methods, making it safer for patients.
  • The image obtained with the help of OPTG has a high level of detail, which allows the doctor to examine the condition of the teeth and jaws in detail. Also, OPTG is an indispensable tool for diagnosing various dental problems and planning treatment and surgical interventions.

Weaknesses of the Orthopantomography (OPTG) procedure

  • OPTG is not always ideal for detailed examination of individual teeth, especially those located close to each other. Also, it may not provide enough information about soft tissues compared to other methods such as CT or MRI. Some bone defects or diseases may be less visible on OPTH images compared to more advanced methods.
  • Proper patient preparation, including proper positioning and removal of metal objects, is important to obtain a quality image. OPTG equipment can be expensive, and its use requires a certain level of technical skill. Considering these factors, doctors choose OPTH or other methods depending on the specific diagnostic and treatment needs of each patient.

Is it possible to perform the OPTG procedure for children?

Yes, the procedure of orthopantomography (OPTG) can be performed on children, but it is usually used with caution and if necessary, taking into account the characteristics of the age and physiology of the child’s body.

OPTG uses significantly less radiation compared to other X-ray methods, but despite this, there may be a question about the effect of radiation on the child’s body. With this in mind, doctors can decide when to perform OPTH in children, taking into account diagnostic need and potential benefits versus risks.


OPTG is used to detect a number of dental problems, including caries, gum disease, jaw pathologies, and other ailments. This is a relatively simple and sufficiently advanced way to perform a comprehensive examination of the oral cavity and its tissues and structures.

This method allows you to carry out a comprehensive examination of the entire structure of the oral cavity and face without the need to use many separate X-ray images.