Eliminating surprises

Examining a dog or cat's mouth can be compared to opening a Christmas present. Inspecting the outside of the box may give you a hunch about the contents, but until you completely unwrap it, you'll never really know what's inside.

In the same way peeling away the wrapping paper and packing material brings a present into the light of day, dental radiology allows veterinarians the opportunity to look beyond the obvious and better examine teeth and their supporting structures below the gumline - exposing hidden, and often undiagnosed, problems.

Part of the tool kit

In the beginning, veterinary dentistry mainly consisted of removing calculus from the tooth crown. Today, cleaning the crown is only part of the dental prophylaxis. A thorough prophy now includes using a probe to measure periodontal pockets, charting abnormalities, polishing and intraoral radiography.

Deciding when to use intraoral film is up to the practitioner. In general, any time a dental abnormality is noted, a radiograph is indicated. Some examples of situations when radiographs are appropriate include:

 Evaluating the presence of unerupted teeth in show dogs - especially Dobermans, Rottweilers and Giant Schnauzers - all which require at least 40 teeth to be shown

 Unexplained bleeding

 Determining treatment options for periodontal disease

 Registering endodontic parameters, including pretreatment, intraoperative and postoperative care

 Evaluating the extension of oral masses into the maxilla or mandible

 Postoperative evaluation of extraction sites for root fragments

The Dental Radiology Smile Book

The Dental Radiology Smile Book uses before, during, and after photos and radiographs to educate veterinary staff about how to produce top-quality radiographic images, and how to use those images to improve diagnosis, treatment, and client satisfaction.

For his assistance in producing The Dental Radiology Smile Book, Pharmacia & Upjohn Animal Health wishes to thank Jan Bellows, DVM, Pembroke Pines, FL (Diplomate, American Veterinary Dental College; Diplomate, American Board Veterinary Practitioners). The dental procedure photos, radiographs, and captions were the contribution of Dr. Bellows. Instrument photos were generously supplied by Henry Schein Inc. AFP Imaging supplied the dental radiograph machine pictures.

Table of Contents
Smile Book II
Dental Radiology
Jan Bellows, D.V.M. Diplomate, American Veterinary Dental College
About the Author
Section 1: Getting Started - The Tools
Section 2: Getting Started - What to Look For
Section 3: Identifying Possible Problems
Section 4: Aids for Explaining Radiology to Clients

Check out the entire
Smile Book Series


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Jan Bellows, DVM
All Pets Dental Clinic
17100 Arvida Parkway
Weston, FL 33326
(954) 349-5800