As vets, we love how technology improves how we treat you pet.
Recently, the Waverley Animal Hospital has added some new tech to our diagnostic arsenal when it comes to dental disease- digital radiographs (x-rays) for pet teeth!
Before dental radiographs were readily available, we relied on a visual oral examination and probing beneath the gums to see if a tooth was diseased or not.
Digital dental x-rays allow us to see disease that may not be apparent on the surface of the tooth. Hence, we can make more informed decisions as to whether a tooth requires an extraction or not reducing the need for repeated dental procedures. The following x- ray shows bone loss around a tooth. On x-rays bone appears white, so having large black areas where bone should be suggests areas of disease. In this dog’s case, it was caused by a whole lot of infection.
All these can be done quickly and easily with minimal impact to the patient while they are asleep under anaesthetic before having their teeth cleaned. Another interesting case was when dog came in with a missing tooth having chewed too hard on an object. We were unable to tell on physical exam whether or not any of the tooth was left behind. Taking a dental x-ray showed immediately that the dog had retained roots in her jaw that we could remove immediately.
Blue circle shows broken tooth with retained roots
Both patients were much better off as we could diagnose the problematic teeth and treat it quickly. Speak to your vet about dental x-rays the next time your pet’s teeth are checked out!