By Vickie Byard, CVT, VTS (Dentistry), CVJ

One of the biggest fears about adding intraoral radiographs to the dentistry department service menu is that by taking full mouth radiographs the dental procedure will now take too long.  There may be some truth to that…without proper training.

As a trainer, I find that there is also a great deal of angst among veterinary technicians in general practice that don’t have a passion for dentistry but are expected to provide this skill.  Most of this concern is over the need to fully embrace and understand the bisecting angle technique. While it is true that when one takes a perfect intraoral radiograph of many of the teeth in a cat or dog, the beam was directed perpendicular to the bisecting angle between the sensor/film and the tooth root.

Now, we could spend a great deal of time dissecting this technique, but I know I would lose readers.  Instead I would like to suggest that none of us gained confidence placing intravenous catheters by reading about aseptic technique, the selection of proper catheter size, the angle one should approach the distended vein, etc.  We witnessed one, did one and then we eventually taught the skill.  See one, do one, teach one.

So, I created this video with the intention that if you replicate the position of the X-ray tube in relation to the dog’s head, lift the nose to put all roots on the same plane (minimizing yet another angle to deal with) and learn the dance, most technicians will be able to start getting full mouth X-rays on a dog within a brief period of time ( approximately 5 minutes per side).  Actually, the second side shouldn’t take as long…you already have both images of your upper and lower incisors.

So drop me a line and let me know if this helps anyone.  If this is helpful, you may want to bookmark the page at work for ready access.  I think we all have time for the Dental Dance!

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