Dental X-rays- what's the point? | Companion Animal Veterinary Hospital

Dental X-rays- what's the point?

Matt Young's picture
Dental X-ray

Dental X-rays can save your pet from ongoing painful conditions or save them having painful procedures that are unnecessary. 

A case that proves the point

The X-ray you see above is from a cat that we did a dental on a couple of weeks ago. Just from an examination under anaesthetic I knew that most of the teeth would need to come out. You might think if you're taking the teeth out anyway what's the point in x-raying them?

xrays allow us to visualise the roots of the teeth, see where they are, and in some cases if they still exist. 

Feline Resorptive Lesions

This cat has multiple resorptive lesions in the teeth. This is a condition in cats where the cells that resorb enamel get activated and the tooth gets eaten away. These lesions are very painful although in most cases their owner's don't real use they are in pain until we remove the teeth. Once the teeth are removed the cats eat better and are much happier.

One of the teeth in the x-ray has one of it's roots completely resorbed. This was not obvious from examining the tooth.

Annotated image of dental X-ray

Without an X-ray I would gave assumed that this cat had a resportive lesion but that the root was still there. I would have dug around the bone attempting to find a root that actually no longer existed. 

A quick x-ray in this cat allowed he to realize that one of the roots was missing and saved the cat from a whole heap of unnecessary pain!

 

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