Tauranga OMS has installed a  state of the art digital imaging system to provide patients with either standard OPG  2-dimensional or CBCT 3-dimensional radiographs as required. The amount of radiation patients are exposed to is minimal, and the process is entirely painless.

X-Ray imaging is often required during consultations. If you have recently had any relevant imaging done with your dentist please let us know.

OPG (Orthopantomogram)

An OPG is a type of dental x-ray which produces a panoramic view of the jaw. You may have had one of these taken at your dentist previously. However, if this is not recent you may be asked to have another taken during your consultation. 

During OPG x-ray, you will be asked to stand or sit in front of the x-ray machine. You will be asked to bite down gently on a mouthpiece, to ensure your head remains still during the procedure. Our staff will assist you to achieve the correct head placement.  Part of the machine then rotates around your head as the images are being taken.

The scan takes approximately 30 seconds to complete once your head is in the correct position.

Prior to your OPG X-ray you will be asked to remove glasses, dentures, hearing aids, earrings, tongue and nose studs, necklaces, hair clips and any other metal accessories that may affect the X-ray. No special preparations are required.

The X-ray can be viewed immediately on the computer in our consultation rooms. One of our surgeons will examine and explain the image to you during your consultation. If you should like a copy for yourself please let us know.

OPG uses low dose x-rays, a form of radiation, to produce the required images. The dose is equivalent to about one day of background radiation.

Please inform our staff if you are pregnant or if you think you may be pregnant as there is a small risk that the radiation from an x-ray can harm a fetus.


A dental cone beam computerised tomography (CBCT) produces a 3 dimensional image of the jaws. It is smaller, faster and causes much less radiation exposure than a medical CT scan.

The scan provides detailed information which cannot be obtained from normal X-rays. For example, if you are being considered for dental implants it allows us to assess the exact shape of the bone thus allowing for more precise treatment planning.

You will be seated in the CBCT machine. Your head will be carefully positioned and you will be asked to bite gently on a plastic mouthpiece. You will be asked to keep absolutely still while the scan is taken. The positioning takes a few minutes, but each scan takes less than a minute to perform.

The machine moves around your head in a circular motion like the panoramic dental radiography unit which is commonly used in dental surgeries. 

It is not painful. If you are claustrophobic please mention this to our staff so that we can offer you appropriate support and advice.

Prior to your CBCT you will be asked to remove glasses, dentures, hearing aids, earrings, tongue and nose studs, necklaces, hair clips and any other metal accessories that may affect the scan. A CBCT scan does not require any injections, special preparations or food restrictions.

Once downloaded the surgeon can immediately show you though your 3-D scan during the consultation. 

If you have been sent in for a CBCT by your dentist your scan will be given to the referring dentist electronically or on a disc along with a written report from one of our surgeons. 

A CBCT scan of the jaws would be comparable to approximately 6-30 days of normal background radiation.

There are risks with all x-rays so we always try to minimsie the need for them. As with any x-ray examination please tell our staff if you might be pregnant.


Tauranga Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery provide high quality specialist oral surgical services for patients in Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty region.