A radiograph (also called an X-ray) is an image or photograph of the body’s bones and internal organs obtained using a very low level of radiation. The exposure levels are so low that they are even safe enough for pregnant females and very young pets.
So, why Does My Dog or Cat Need Dental Radiographs?
The answer to that is simple. Only about one third of a pets tooth is actually visible. The majority of a pet’s tooth is under the gumline hiding all kinds of disease. Dental radiographs can help your veterinarian evaluate the health of the tooth roots and identify any number of potential health risks that are not visible just by looking at your pet’s teeth.
· Tumors involving the bones of the jaw
· Impacted teeth (teeth that have not or cannot erupt normally)
· Broken or fractured teeth
· Abscesses (sever infections)
· Retained deciduous teeth (baby teeth)
· Resorptive lesions (Cavities)
When Is Dental Radiography Recommended?
Dental radiographs need to be performed under general anesthesia so they are generally obtained during your pet’s yearly dental cleaning and polishing. Sedation is needed for proper positioning for the radiographs, and lets be honest most pets aren’t going to hold a dental plate be their teeth and not chew.
How Long Do Dental Radiographs Take?
Dental radiographs take only a few minutes. Once a veterinarian has evaluated the radiographs, the problem teeth can then be addressed as part of the dental procedure. Dental radiographs are also used to evaluate tooth extractions to confirm that all the tooth roots have been removed.