Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology

Dental radiology is a standard of clinical care that is growing rapidly in veterinary dentistry. Armed with accurate knowledge from dental radiographs, clients are educated with hard evidence and therefore are becoming increasingly receptive to the recommended treatments. As a result dental radiology enables physicians to provide an accurate diagnosis with pinpoint precision and tailor the treatment accordingly.

What is Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology?

Oral and maxillofacial radiology refers to a branch of dentistry and field of radiology that involves studying and deciphering radiographic images including CT and MRI scans around the jaws and mouth.

Types of Scans

These scans help dentists accurately diagnose the disease and the extent of the infection, which leads to comprehensive oral treatment plans and better clinical outcomes.

  • MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging – a state-of-the-art imaging procedure that provides both soft and hard tissue X-rays and is preferred for soft tissue (boneless).
  • CT-Scan or Computed Tomography – also a highly sophisticated imaging technique that can produce images of your pet’s hard and soft tissue. CT-scans are extremely effective at:
  • Discovering the degree of particular oral tumors, which helps the veterinary dentist decide if they can be surgically extracted.
  • Estimating the degree of oral fractures.
  • Assessing the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

How Do the Scans Work?

Veterinary intraoral radiographs are the most effective method to capture a cat or dog’s teeth and most of the jawbones. Much the same as when we have an X-ray done at the dentist, the dental radiographic sensor is gently positioned in your pet’s mouth so that an internal image can be produced. Alternatively, a film can be used in place of the sensor. Since either one has to be put inside the mouth and the patient is required to stay still for a few seconds, intra-oral radiographs for animals can only be processed once the patient is administered general anesthesia.

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Effectiveness of Scans

Over 50% of a cat or dog’s tooth is not visible, specifically, the root of the tooth under the gum line. Since dental radiographs see beyond what veterinary dentists are able to during an oral exam, they become indispensable to the physician if he or she wants to discover the exact clinical condition of the pet.

  • Dental radiographs help in identification of the disease infecting the tooth’s root and the supporting bone.
  • Intra-oral radiographs can track the condition of several prior dental surgeries.
  • Full mouth radiographs (FMR) provide approximately an additional 25% of information that is not apparent if the dentist were to only perform an oral checkup.

Specialized Dental Care

At Dog and Cat Dentist, Dr. Anson Tsugawa who is the founder and lead veterinary dentist, leads a team of highly specialized dentists who are all board-certified. When you bring your pet to us, you can rest assured that your pet will have access to the best care, technology and expertise because our team holds the distinction of being the only veterinary dentistry specialists in the entire Los Angeles area. So give your furry friend access to the finest treatment it rightly deserves.