Digital Dental & Oral Radiography

The Need for Oral Radiographs

Have you ever wondered why your dentist requires annual dental x-rays? It’s because two-thirds of the tooth is below the gum line and not visible to the eye. This is the same for your pet. Studies show that without oral/dental radiographs, 75% of significant pathology (disease) such as root abscesses, root fractures, etc. goes undiagnosed. What makes oral and dental care even more important for our pets is that they cannot tell us if they are having pain. For the best oral care, veterinarians must be able to see below the gum line, and only x-rays can do that. An oral exam without radiographs is simply incomplete.

To best view your pet’s teeth and oral cavity and properly clean his teeth, your pet must be placed under general anesthesia (unlike their owners, pets do not sit quietly for the dentist!) While your pet is anesthetized, it only makes sense to perform a complete oral exam with dental radiographs. Finding and correcting problems before they become severe will save your pet from unnecessary pain and suffering, keep him healthy, and prolong his life.

Tooth resorption in the cat pub

Tooth resorption in the cat is a very common dental problem, the extent of which is easily seen with oral radiographs.

Retained deciduous canine teeth pub

For good oral health, retained deciduous teeth must be removed.

Tooth root abscess pub

Without the benefit of digital oral radiographs, this painful tooth root abscess could have gone undetected.

What can oral radiographs reveal?

  • Periodontal disease
  • Jaw bone loss
  • Enamel defects
  • Fractures
  • Abscesses
  • Persistent primary (baby) tooth
  • Tooth resorption
  • Even with no pathology, annual dental/oral radiographs establish a baseline for monitoring your pet’s oral health.

Why digital radiography?

  • Remember, your pet is anesthetized during the oral and dental exam and cleaning. Digital radiography allows us to take x-rays without moving your anesthetized pet as we have a dedicated digital x-ray machine mounted right in the dental treatment area.
  • Digital radiographs are available for viewing within seconds which translates to less time for your pet to spend under anesthesia.
  • Because the radiographs are digital and viewed on a computer, the image can be enhanced to provide for better diagnostic capabilities.
  • Digital radiographs are much easier to archive and share in the event they need to be sent to a specialist or another veterinarian.
  • Last, but certainly not least, digital radiography requires less radiation, and because it doesn’t require film development, eliminates the need for dangerous chemicals.