This is a "back-to-basics" article on how to obtain diagnostic dental radiographs in mesocephalic cats. It is a clear example of how 1 picture is worth 1000 words. This article contains excellent step-by-step photographs using a cat skull to demonstrate how to position the cat, the film, and the radiographic tube when imaging the 5 dental regions. The article is also filled with helpful practice tips. The technique used for the mandibular premolar and molar teeth is similar to the parallel radiographic technique used in dogs. Obtaining diagnostic films of the apices of the third premolar is often difficult, and the author recommends using a bisecting angle technique. Although all of the mandibular incisors and canine teeth can be imaged on the same film, the author reminds the reader to use the angle of the root and not the crown when determining the bisecting angle. Maxillary teeth are imaged using an intraoral film and the bisecting-angle technique; the key to imaging maxillary canine teeth is to remember that they need to be imaged separately. The biggest difference between dogs and cats is in obtaining radiographs of the maxillary premolars and molars. In dogs, a standard bisecting technique can be used; however, this does not work in cats because of the position of the zygomatic arch. The author provides a detailed description of 2 techniques to obtain good images in cats, the extraoral technique and the acute-angle technique.
COMMENTARY: Dental radiology is increasingly available and used by practitioners to provide high-quality care for both canine and feline patients. Yet, obtaining diagnostic dental radiographs in cats can be a challenge because of the conformation of the feline skull. This in-depth article describes the techniques, positions, and angles to be used to obtain high-quality, useful films. It also includes excellent figures to illustrate the techniques.
Feline dental radiology. Niemiec B, Furman R. J VET DENTISTRY 21:252-257, 2004.