Dental radiography is something that is relatively new to veterinary practices. We have been using dental radiography for almost 10 yrs now and honestly we cannot imagine doing ANY dental procedure without it. If you pet had a sore leg then you would expect your veterinarian to take an Xray of the leg to see if it was broken. If it was broken then you would also expect your veterinarian to take another Xray once they had fixed it to make sure everything was in the right place. The same applies to dental disease. Over 2/3rds of a tooth lies below the gum line where we cannot see it. Without dental radiography we do not know whether a tooth has damage to it’s root, possible tooth root infection, or if when removing a tooth that we have removed all of the tooth root.
We believe dental radiography to be essential to correct treatment of any dental concern. We had one of the first digital dental radiography setups in Australia and we currently use the IM3 CR System which allows us to get very high resolution images and magnification of up to 100 times actual size. You can be assured that all of our dental procedure estimates include dental radiographs to make sure we are doing the correct job and we are doing it properly.
Dental radiograph of the lower jaw of a cat. The smallest tooth at the far right has damage to the tooth structure and fusion of the tooth roots to the jaw bone characteristic of Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions (FORL). This tooth would be quite painful and needs to be removed however attempting removal of the roots would likely break the jaw bone. The top of the tooth needs to be burred of at the level of the jaw bone (Sometimes called a Dupont technique) and the jaw bone smoothed off with a burr so that the gum can heal.