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Why are dental x-rays important?

Dental Xrays


Dental x-rays are a vital part of thorough dental examination and treatment in dogs and cats, just as they are in humans. The photo and x-ray above show a dog with a broken crown of the upper 4th premolar (carnassial tooth). This is a very common injury in dogs usually associated with chewing on bones or other hard items.

Broken crowns can result in infection within the tooth and development of a painful abscess around the root of the tooth, which is seen on the x-ray as a darker area in the bone around the back root of this tooth (circle). In the early stages of a tooth root abscess, there are frequently no external signs of infection, and dogs often do not show obvious signs of pain or discomfort.

So x-rays are vital in detecting this problem and deciding whether a broken tooth needs to be removed.

X-rays can also detect a range of other problems occurring under the gum or around the roots of teeth. This image shows unusual root shapes of the lower premolar teeth in a dog (arrows), as well as severe periodontal disease with bone loss and infection around the roots of the lower first molar (circle).

When it comes to dental disease, what we see above the gum line is often the “tip of the iceberg” so dental x-rays and thorough examination of the mouth under general anaesthesia is essential to appropriately treat any dental problems.

Contact us today to book a dental check-up for your pet!

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