Thursday, April 27, 2017

Oral Radiology Cyber Solutions-Donald H. DeForge, VMD #22

Donald H. DeForge, VMD

Fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry

The New England and New York Animal Dental Health Services

Web Log #22~~27April2017

Oral Radiology Cyber-Solutions
New Millennium Animal Dentistry

Image result for pictures of dental x rays in dogs

Computer information technology and telemedicine lead the way in Animal Oral Care.  

Wayne Gretsky, known as "the Great One," in hockey once said....."You miss 100% of the shots you never take."  That strongly applies to animal oral x-ray diagnostics.

In companion animal dentistry...."the lift of the lip and the look in the mouth" as the sole oral diagnostic tool for mouth care is over.  We are in the Cyber Age of animal digital X-ray oral diagnostics.  There is no looking back but only moving forward.

I once stated, "practicing periodontal care in in any companion animal general practice without oral radiology is similar to doing surgery with the lights out."  Clients are computer tutored. They understand that their own human dentist completes their diagnostic profiles and treatment plans based on oral radiology and they expect their general practitioner to do the same.

Animal dentists have been leading the way in oral radiology for over two decades.  Animal dentists are frequently asked why the general doctor did not take oral x-rays before treatment and/or referral to the animal dentist from which they are now seeking a second opinion.

To that there is no answer.  Every general practice should have dental x-ray as part of on-site diagnostics.  If it is not available, referral to an animal dentist is strongly recommended.

Digital handheld dental x-ray generators produce high quality radiographic images.  Every room where general inhalation anesthesia is available is now your dental operatory room. There is no longer a need for special wall mounts; hospital remodeling; or portable dental tripods that your staff is tripping over all of the time. 

Every practice that has invested in digital oral radiology and modern x-ray generators has thanked me over and over.  They always state...." it is quite remarkable viewing oral pathology that they MAY have missed for years."

The advantages of digital oral x-ray are numerous.  First and foremost, it decreases anesthesia time.  With a "retake feature" in the software you are only seconds away from repeating an image or having serial radiographs of the same tooth for making the correct diagnosis and deciding upon treatment options.  With telemedicine, images can easily be sent to an animal dentist for review if you are not comfortable making a treatment decision based on the dental x-rays you have taken.  Software features for image enhancement are amazing.  Decreased exposure to radiation is another major advantage.

During extraction procedures, with digital pre-and post x-rays, you now know if a root tip has been left behind.  If you cannot remove this structure, you call show the x-ray to your client and ask if they wish referral to an animal dentist to decide upon the best method of treatment.  Animal dentists need oral radiology to implement the many varied treatment options based upon experience and education in all intradiscplines of oral care.

General practitioners need oral radiology in their periodontal treatment programs; to diagnose the multiple oral problems in cat dentistry; for oral trauma diagnostics; and in oral oncology referral and endodontic referral.  There are many other reasons for taking oral x-rays in companion animal practices that cannot be listed in this abbreviated report.  

Never remove any tooth without written permission and after confirmation of need for that tooth to be removed with an oral x-ray. 

Written consents for any oral procedure are not optional but a necessary part of all animal dentistry procedures.

Show your clients your dental x-rays of their pets oral problems. Take CE courses in oral radiology diagnostics.  Find an animal dentist in your area or utilize telemedicine to confirm your oral x-ray diagnosis to be sure the correct treatment plan is initiated.  The journey begins today!

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