Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Radiography, X-ray, Skull, Head or Jaw

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Radiographs of the equine head is a standard diagnostic tool that is used when dental or sinus disease is suspected, or to confirm or rule out a suspected bone fracture in this area. The sinuses and dental sockets (alveoli) are very complex bony structures with large numbers of intricate and irregular planes of bone.

Typically, in this series four radiographs are taken from different angles. The most helpful radiographs for diagnosing dental issues are the oblique projections that silhouette the cheek teeth roots in the air filled sinuses.

Benefits

Radiography of the sinuses and teeth is very useful for identifying tooth root abscesses and other dental abnormalities, as well as other injuries such as a fracture.

Limitations

Given the complex bony structure of the sinuses and dental alveoli, interpretation of these radiographs can be difficult. Referral of the images to a board certified radiologist may be recommended, as they can provide a very detailed interpretation and diagnose more subtle problems.

QUESTIONS TO ASK MY VET

  • Would referral to a board certified radiologist offer any additional benefit?
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