Veterinary Dental Radiology

What is it?

Veterinary dental radiology is a handy tool in diagnosing disease in the pet's nasal/oral region. In cases of facial swelling or chronic nasal discharge, veterinary dental radiographs can greatly assist diagnosis and treatment planning. At VDS, we use a digital sensor system that requires less radiation than other forms of imaging.

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VDS Approach

In our practice, we use a digital sensor system that requires significantly less radiation than other forms of imaging. Standard radiographs require considerably more radiation than our systems, and CAT scans require even more. Even dental radiographs with standard film require several times the radiation of digital sensor systems, like those used at Veterinary Dental Specialties. Therefore, diagnostic imaging with digital dental radiographs is the best way to limit the amount of radiation your pet receives.

Better Outcomes

Dental radiographs are the best way to determine if the swelling or infection is due to a tooth and which tooth is causing the problem. They can determine the location and degree of disease present. This will allow for fast and complete resolution of the condition. In cases of facial swelling or chronic nasal discharge, dental radiographs can greatly assist diagnosis and treatment planning.

Higher Sensitivity

Dental radiographs are much more sensitive than standard “skull” x-rays which allows us to determine which tooth is causing the condition and immediate resolution.  In addition, dental radiographs are much better able to separate the sides of the jaw, allowing us to identify the problem tooth correctly.  We often treat cases of non-healing fractures that were due to an infected tooth root that could not be seen on skull x-rays. In addition, it is not unusual for us to find retained and infected root tips which are causing infection.  These are easily missed on skull x-rays and are not always seen, even on standard CT scans.

Safe and Effective Option

If your pet has an oral/dental/nasal condition, dental radiographs are generally the most effective, inexpensive, and safest diagnostic technique. Having the images taken or reviewed by a board-certified veterinary dentist will improve diagnostic yield. A review of your family veterinarian’s radiographs by a board-certified dentist is available at If you have any concerns, ask your vet to have the images reviewed.

Veterinary Dental Radiology is used to treat these common pet oral health problems

Jaw Fracture
Periodontal Disease

Learn About CBTC Scans

Cone beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) is another valuable tool we utilize at VDS. Similar to dental radiographs, our CBCT allows us to visualize the oral structures in a 2D setting but has additional features that set it apart, aiding VDS doctors in making diagnoses and treatment plans for our patients.
CBCT utilizes dynamic technology to provide not only two-dimensional tomography but also a full reconstruction in a three-dimensional image.  This allows us to determine the extent of periodontal, nasal, and oral disease as well as provides us with information useful for surgical planning in cases of jaw fractures and oral masses.
CBCT is an effective option for diagnostic imaging. Our scanner generates high-quality images with improved resolution and accuracy compared to standard CT scans. All of this is able to be done quickly, with the scan itself taking less than a minute. This quick scan allows for shorter radiation exposure to your pet and allows the doctor to review the dynamic images almost instantly.