Importance of X-Rays in Dental Procedures

Preventative dental care is just as important for our pets as it is for us. Just like we brush our teeth and get regular dental check ups, Stella’s owners ensure that Stella gets this too. Stella gets regular dental chews (bull chews) and tooth brushing but when her owners noticed some tartar starting to form on her teeth (brown stuff stuck to the teeth) they brought her into the clinic for a dental clean.

A dental clean is called a scale and polish. It is done under general anaesthetic to enable all surfaces of the teeth to be cleaned thoroughly and for any other procedures such as dental x-rays and teeth removals to be performed safely.

Stella had never had a dental procedure before so she had a blood test before her anaesthetic to help ensure she was nice and healthy beforehand. Once she was under anaesthetic she had her teeth cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler to remove the tartar and enable the vet to check her teeth completely.

Her teeth looked visually fine but two thirds of the tooth (the root) are below the gum line so the vet did full mouth x-rays. These x-rays checked the whole tooth and surrounding bone to check for any other issues. It was excellent for Stella that these x-rays were performed because the vet discovered that 6 of Stella’s teeth had root disease and required removal to prevent problems later on. The vet could see that some of Stella’s teeth roots had been damaged or reabsorbed which makes the tooth weak and can lead to pain and infection. The vet then removed Stella’s damaged teeth and stitched the gums back together to help with healing.

Stella had to be on a soft food diet for a couple of weeks and also had pain relief to make her comfortable. Her gums healed up really well and now she can eat just as well as she could before; which for a Labrador is no problem!

Find out more about dental health and pets here >

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