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When do pets need a dental X-ray?

When do pets need a dental X-ray?

Along with annual physical exams, your pet will also need routine dental care in order to help prevent serious oral diseases and dental pain. In this post, our Thornton vets offer some information about radiography and when pets may need dental X-rays.

What are dental X-rays for pets?

Dental X-rays are used to determine the overall dental health of your cat or dog and pinpoint any potential dental concerns. This is a useful diagnostic tool, necessary even, due to the fact that the majority of the dental plaque is actually present below the gumline.

The process of dental X-rays for pets is fairly similar to that of humans. These black-and-white images are produced in a veterinary diagnostics lab using a sensor placed in the mouth along with the X-ray machine. These are able to show the structures inside of your pet's mouth allowing for a detailed image to be used for diagnosis.

When would your vet request dental X-rays?

While dental X-rays may be requested for a number of different reasons they are commonly performed during your pet's annual dental exam and cleaning. Here are some of the areas that dental X-rays in our vet lab can help diagnose or monitor:

1. Pathology - The study of diseases which helps your vet make accurate decisions about the diagnosis and treatment of your pet.

2. Oral Infection - These are caused by a build-up of bacteria in your dog or cat's mouth and dental X-rays can help to diagnose so that antibiotics can be offered throughout our veterinary pharmacy.

3. Missing Teeth - If your pet is missing teeth then your vet may use dental X-rays to evaluate the health of the jaw bone and surrounding structures.

4. Oral Surgery - Your vet will use dental X-rays to evaluate the situation before performing oral surgery on your pet.

5. Tooth Resorption in Cats - Tooth resorption in cats can be diagnosed using dental technologies such as dental X-rays.

What can be seen using dental X-rays for cats and dogs?

Dental X-rays performed in a veterinary diagnostic laboratory can help to diagnose and monitor a number of different dental conditions that would otherwise go unnoticed due to being below the surface of the teeth or gums. These X-rays are high-resolution images that help to show the tooth pulp, roots, crown and surrounding bone of each of your pet's teeth.

Some of the issues that can be spotted using this dental technology include tooth abscesses, cavities and fractures. Many pets are notorious for not showing any signs of pain or discomfort and will continue to eat and function normally even if they are experiencing pain. Once diagnosed using dental X-rays, your pet can be treated using other procedures and technologies as well as medications through our vet lab.

This type of X-ray is used in the same way that the ones for humans are used. These X-ray machines use a small amount of radiation to create an image of your pet's internal structures.

One difference between dental X-rays for pets and those for humans is the fact that your pet will need to be sedated in order to successfully capture an X-ray. Your pet will be generally safe when under general anesthesia and their vitals will be monitored throughout the entirety of their visit. Blood work will be required prior to the anesthetic being administered to your cat or dog in order to ensure the health and safety of your pet.

Will your pet need dental sedation during X-rays?

Sedation is required in order to perform X-rays on your pet. This is to help your cat or dog stay still and relaxed during the imaging process. This will help to keep both your pet and the people around them safe. Once your pet is sedated, your vet will be able to properly position both your pet and the imaging machine to ensure a clear image. The veterinary team will closely monitor your pet and watch for any signs of complications.

How should you prepare your pet for an X-ray?

Diagnostic imaging using X-rays is pretty straightforward and requires minimal preparation. Your vet may suggest that you have your pet fast for 8 hours prior to the anesthesia being administered and you may need to remove any clothing, leashes or harnesses that your pet may be wearing.

One of the unfortunate truths as a pet parent is that your beloved furry friend will be unable to tell you where the pain is originating from. This is where dental X-rays come into play!

Dental X-rays for dogs and cats in Thornton can help your vet to gain a better view and understanding of your pet's oral and overall health.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your cat or dog due for their routine dental exam and cleaning? Contact our Thornton animal hospital vets to schedule professional veterinary dental care.

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Caring Hands Veterinary Hospital is always accepting new patients! Our vets are passionate about providing kind and loving veterinary care to Thornton companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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