Dental radiographs (Xrays) are an essential component of regular dental care. We may able to see what a tooth looks like above the gumline, but we have no idea what is happening below the gumline or inside of the tooth without dental radiographs.
At Yorkville Animal Hospital, we recommend full mouth radiographs as part of a comprehensive dental cleaning procedure. We will often find problems that we didn’t know existed after examination of the radiographs — problems which, left undetected and untreated, would have continued to cause our patient pain and discomfort.
Dental radiographs are also very important to assess any “missing” teeth in the mouth of puppies and kittens. It is not uncommon to discover that our patients are missing teeth as they mature. Sometimes, the teeth do not form in the first place. Other times, however, a tooth may be impacted or “trapped” below the gumline, and unable to normally erupt. Left alone, these teeth can eventually form large dentigerous cysts, which can cause destruction of bone as these cysts expand, eventually leading to loss of adjacent teeth, and possible jaw fracture.
Without dental radiography, we would be only guessing as to what form of treatment our patients required. It is essential, especially given that our patients require general anaesthetic for dental procedures, that we do the best job that we can for them, and this includes having a comprehensive assessment of their oral health using dental radiography.