Veterinary Dental Radiology (X-rays) & Advanced Imaging

Radiology and Advanced Imaging is available through Animal Dentistry & Oral Surgery for accurately assessing and creating treatment plans for a pet’s oral condition.  Advanced imagining options include dental X-rays, MRI and CT scans.

Veterinary Intraoral Radiographs (dental X-rays) for Pets
Veterinary intraoral radiographs are the best way to image a dog or cat’s teeth  and most areas of the jaw bones. These dental radiographs are the same as what you would have taken when you are at the dentist. The dental film / radiographic sensor is placed in the mouth and then an image can be obtained. Since the film/sensor has to be placed in the mouth and the patient must be very still, intra-oral radiographs for pets must be obtained under general anesthesia.

Without dental radiographs a full assessment of the health of your pet’s teeth cannot be completed.  More than 50 percent of a dog or cat tooth’s surface area (tooth root) is below the gum line and is therefore not visible to the naked eye. This is where veterinary dental radiographs come in and provide the veterinary dentist the following information about a pet’s dental condition:

  • Often radiographs can identify dental disease processes that effect primarily or only the root and it’s supporting bone.  Important pathology can be present that is not apparent from the oral exam.
  • Intra-oral Radiographs are essential for monitoring the progress of many previous dental and oral surgical procedures.

As part of a “complete oral exam”, full mouth radiographs (FMR) are recommended for most of our patients.  Research confirms that the diagnostic yield of important information for FMR is approximately 25%.  This means that not only do FMRs provide us baseline information for future oral health comparison, approximately 25% of the time we will discover important information, for the patient, that is not evident just by looking in the mouth.

CT-Scan or Computed Tomography for Pets
The CT scan is an advanced imaging method that allows both hard and soft tissue in the animal’s mouth to be imaged. It is essentially a series of radiographs taken in small, thin sections that allow a patient to be imaged in 3 dimensions. This type of imaging is often necessary to determine the extent of certain oral tumors and to determine whether can be completely removed surgically.   It is also very helpful in determining the extent of oral fractures and is also a good method for evaluating the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ).

MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Pets
MRI is another advanced imaging method for that allows both hard and soft tissue to be imaged.  It is a preferred method for imaging soft (non-bone) tissues in a dog or cat’s mouth.