Dental and Oral Imaging

Diagnostic imaging stands as a cornerstone in the realm of Veterinary Dentistry, primarily encapsulating Dental Radiology and Computed Tomography (CT) scans. These powerful tools play a pivotal role in providing veterinarians with a detailed view of structures that remain hidden to the naked eye, unraveling the mysteries concealed within.

Dental Radiology

Dental Radiology, commonly known as dental X-rays, emerges as a linchpin in modern Veterinary Dentistry. Intra-oral radiographs, in particular, grant a visual gateway to the intricate hard structures of the tooth, the pulp within, and the surrounding periodontal structures. The absence of Dental Radiology would leave many dental diseases lurking undiagnosed, especially those beneath the gingiva. Digital radiology systems, which we utilize for our Dental Radiology, empower us with quick access to images, easily displayed, manipulated, and enlarged on computer screens. The transition to digital technology not only enhances our diagnostic capabilities but also ensures safety by employing less powerful X-rays compared to traditional film radiology.

Some Indications for Dental Radiology

  • Evaluation of Periodontal Disease: Discerning bone loss, a critical aspect of periodontal health.
  • Searching for Missing Teeth: Aiding in the detection of absent teeth.
  • Surveying Cats for Tooth Resorption: Identifying tooth resorption in feline patients.
  • Pre-extraction Radiographs: Examining root structures prior to tooth extraction.
  • Examination of Periapical Pathology: Especially post-endodontic procedures.
  • Trauma of the Oral Cavity: Facilitating the diagnosis of jaw fractures.
  • Soft Tissue Pathology: Detecting tumours and other soft tissue abnormalities.

CT scans come into play when a more comprehensive exploration of the surrounding structures and anatomy around the teeth is needed. This process involves creating a scan of the head, encompassing muscles, soft tissues, bones, and joints. While CT scans demand more time compared to dental X-rays, they are invaluable when gathering detailed information on jaw fractures, Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) issues, and oral cancers.

In our daily practice, Dental Radiology is a routine and indispensable diagnostic tool, seamlessly integrated into our protocols. The accessibility of CT scans further enriches our diagnostic armamentarium, ensuring that we navigate the complexities of Veterinary Dentistry with precision and thorough understanding.