Advancements in Medical Technology – Digital Dental Radiography

Digital Dental Radiography

The diagnostic and therapeutic advances in veterinary medicine over the last 10 to 20 years have been amazing. For example, Dr. Gates never dreamed when he started the Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic in 1981 that he’d be able to pull a foreign body out of a dog’s stomach with an endoscope.

Dental radiography, specifically digital dental radiography is one of the amazing advances that we now have available to us.

We take dental and oral health very seriously at CFVC. Who can escape oral pain and discomfort when it is present? Animals don’t sit around and feel sorry for themselves with they experience dental pain, but that doesn’t mean it should be allowed to persist.

Dental radiography, or dental x-rays, allow us to image the teeth and bone surrounding the teeth. This is helpful in diagnosing an underlying disease process such as periodontal disease or dentigerous cysts. Additionally, dental radiography helps us plan for oral surgery. Dental x-rays also help us determine the success of some types of oral treatments.

Below are some examples.

The large, centrally located carnassial tooth in the radiograph below has fallen to periodontal disease, and it helps us to know that one of the roots has a dramatic curve to it, which could break easily during the extraction process.

Yorkie Periodontal Disease

The large, centrally located lower molar in this radiograph is missing the tips of its roots. This is helpful information, as it would look like the tips broke off during extraction if we didn’t know what the tooth looked like at the outset.


You may still be thinking, “What is a dentigerous cyst?” It’s a large, hollow… well… cyst that forms within the bone in response to a broken baby tooth root or a tooth that never properly emerged.

Dentigerous Cyst

Dental radiography helps us to compare teeth and bone structure from one side to the other. In this image of the tip of a cat’s jaw, you can can see that the canine teeth, the long, dense teeth, are not symmetric. Digital x-rays help us to identify the disease and plan for treatment.

Extrusion / Super Eruption

Sometimes we’re surprised at what we find. Such as these intact roots beneath an absent crown of a premolar…

Broken Crown - Shih Tsu

… or the presence of an old injury that even the dog’s owner didn’t know about.

Missing Portion of Mandible, 2008

In keeping with our mission, dental radiography is part of the comprehensive care that we strive to provide. Dental radiography is also kind and compassionate because it allows us to treat underlying problems throughly and in the most timely manner, allowing your pet to experience the most out of life.


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