Dental X-ray is an amazing tool that we use to give us a more complete picture of your pet’s dental health, which in turn affects your pet’s overall health and lifespan. As you can see from the pictures above, there are many times when a tooth will appear perfectly normal upon oral examination. Since 60% of the tooth is below the gum line, a regular oral examination only reveals part of the story.
The two sets of pictures in the middle and on the right above show teeth that are not chipped, discolored or in any way showing signs of disease. In the middle pictures, the circled teeth have died (indicated by the widened pulp canals that the arrows are showing) and are beginning to cause abscesses. In the picture on the right above, the tooth again, is perfect above the gum line. The x-ray shows that there is a very large abscess and bone loss greater than 50% below the gum tissue.
The set of pictures on the left reveal an area of questionable tissue just in front of the large canine tooth. X-ray shows that there is a problem there in addition to decay that has also destroyed three small incisors. This cat will need to have 4 teeth removed; 3 simple extractions and 1 surgical extraction.
Conversely, there are many times that a patient will come in with excessive amounts of tartar build-up, chipped and or discolored teeth which leads the doctor to believe the teeth should be extracted. Dental x-ray in these cases can tell us that even though the teeth above the gum appear damaged, there is less than 50% bone loss and they should not be extracted at this time, but should be monitored for changes in the future.
We are proud to offer digital dental x-ray and give our clients the option to have full-mouth dental x-rays at a discounted price. Patients have their dental health monitored as part of our wellness program and the doctor will make recommendations regarding dental care or dental home care to help you provide the longest, healthiest life possible for your pet.