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Am J Vet Res. 1998 Jun;59(6):692-5.

Diagnostic value of full-mouth radiography in cats.

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Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California 95616, USA.



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


115 cats referred for dental treatment without a previous full-mouth radiographic series available.


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


The main clinical findings were radiographically confirmed in all cats. Odontoclastic resorption lesions, missed on clinical examination, were diagnosed in 8.7% of cats. Analysis of 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 4.8 and 41.7% of cats, respectively, and were considered of no clinical value in 53.6%. Radiographs of teeth with clinical lesions merely confirmed the findings in 13.9% of cats, but yielded additional or clinically essential information in 53.9 and 32.2%, respectively.


The diagnostic yield of full-mouth radiography in new feline patients referred for dental treatment is high, and routine use of full-mouth radiography is justifiable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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