Diagnostic value of full-mouth radiography in dogs

Frank J. Μ. Verstraete From the Departments of Surgical and Radiological Sciences (Verstraete) and Population Health and Reproduction (Kass), and the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (Terpak), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Philip H. Kass From the Departments of Surgical and Radiological Sciences (Verstraete) and Population Health and Reproduction (Kass), and the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (Terpak), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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 DVM, PhD
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Cheryl H. Terpak From the Departments of Surgical and Radiological Sciences (Verstraete) and Population Health and Reproduction (Kass), and the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (Terpak), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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 BSDH, MS

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Abstract

Objective

To determine the diagnostic value of full-mouth radiography in dogs.

Sample Population

Prospective series of 226 dogs referred for dental treatment without previous full-mouth radiographic views being available.

Procedure

In a prospective nested case-control analysis of multiple outcomes in a hospital cohort of dogs presented for dental treatment, full-mouth radiographic views were obtained prior to oral examination and charting. After treatment, clinical and radiographic findings were compared, with reference to presenting problems, main clinical findings, additional information obtained from the radiographs, and unexpected radiographic findings. The importance of the radiographic findings in therapeutic decision-making was assessed.

Results

The main clinical findings were radiographically confirmed in all dogs. Selected presenting problems and main clinical findings yielded significantly increased odds ratios for a variety of other conditions, either expected or unexpected. Radiographs of teeth without clinical lesions yielded incidental or clinically important findings in 41.7 and 27.8% of dogs, respectively, and were considered of no clinical value in 30.5%. Radiographs of teeth with clinical lesions merely confirmed the findings in 24.3% of dogs, yielded additional or clinically essential information in 50.0 and 22.6%, respectively, and were considered of no value in 3.1%. Older dogs derived more benefit from full-mouth radiography than did younger dogs. Incidental findings were more common in larger dogs.

Clinical Relevance

Diagnostic yield of full-mouth radiography in new canine patients referred for dental treatment is high, and the routine use of such radiographs is justifiable. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:686-691)

Abstract

Objective

To determine the diagnostic value of full-mouth radiography in dogs.

Sample Population

Prospective series of 226 dogs referred for dental treatment without previous full-mouth radiographic views being available.

Procedure

In a prospective nested case-control analysis of multiple outcomes in a hospital cohort of dogs presented for dental treatment, full-mouth radiographic views were obtained prior to oral examination and charting. After treatment, clinical and radiographic findings were compared, with reference to presenting problems, main clinical findings, additional information obtained from the radiographs, and unexpected radiographic findings. The importance of the radiographic findings in therapeutic decision-making was assessed.

Results

The main clinical findings were radiographically confirmed in all dogs. Selected presenting problems and main clinical findings yielded significantly increased odds ratios for a variety of other conditions, either expected or unexpected. Radiographs of teeth without clinical lesions yielded incidental or clinically important findings in 41.7 and 27.8% of dogs, respectively, and were considered of no clinical value in 30.5%. Radiographs of teeth with clinical lesions merely confirmed the findings in 24.3% of dogs, yielded additional or clinically essential information in 50.0 and 22.6%, respectively, and were considered of no value in 3.1%. Older dogs derived more benefit from full-mouth radiography than did younger dogs. Incidental findings were more common in larger dogs.

Clinical Relevance

Diagnostic yield of full-mouth radiography in new canine patients referred for dental treatment is high, and the routine use of such radiographs is justifiable. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:686-691)

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