Dental care is a discipline in veterinary medicine that was often not performed as well as we might have liked.
There are many reasons for this – a lack of practically useful technology and equipment is one of them.
Fortunately, as time goes by, more advanced veterinary equipment becomes available, which enhances our pet’s lives. One piece of “new tech” equipment that has made a huge impact on pet’s quality of life is a dedicated veterinary digital dental radiography unit.
Digital dental radiography makes veterinary dental radiography possible because of the detail it provides and the speed advantage over old-fashioned film. Pets need to be anaesthetized to perform dental procedures, so speed is very important.
It is not possible to see below the gum line without dental x-rays, however the use of a veterinary dental x-ray unit makes it possible to clearly identify the tooth roots and surrounding structures.
In this example, on evaluating the status of the bone surrounding the tooth, we can see that the bone in the angle between the middle tooth’s roots is destroyed. The full extent of the damage was not visible without the x-rays.
The best option in this case is to extract the tooth.
This gives the dog immediate pain relief, removes of the source of infection, and it allows for the possibility of brushing effectively to keep the surrounding teeth healthy.
The tooth root sockets after extraction, showing that no tooth root fragments remain.
Retained tooth root fragments can create future problems, this is why it is important to check that there are no remaining fragments – again dental radiography is the only practical way to do this.