Why does my cat need dental x-rays

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Why Does My Cat Need Dental X-rays?

For the same reason people need dental x-rays, to discover what is hidden from view. Pets cannot say “Hey Doc it hurts right over here”. An excellent example of this can be seen in the two top images to the right.(#’s 1 & 2). Click image to enlarge.

  • 1 – Points to a tooth that can be seen with and without dental x-rays.
  • 1 – NOTE how healthy gun tissue looks
  • 2 – Indicates tooth roots that can only be seen with dental x-rays. The tooth roots are still present (retained) and are potential sources of infection for this cat. These retained roots would not have been found without the aid of dental x-rays
  • 3 – Reveals a tooth root that has a section missing. This is probably the result of Feline Tooth Resorption (FTR) – Learn more).
  • 7 – Reveals a tooth where the entire crown is missing with only the roots remaining. This also is probably the result of FTR activity.
  • 8 – Is a picture of the gums over the retained roots noted in number 7 above. Notice the red lesions where the roots should be, this appears to be active draining tracts from infections in the retained roots.
  • 9 – Is a picture of apparently health feline teeth. However in pet dentistry things are not always what they seem to be, read on…
  • The dental x-ray of the teeth (4, 5 & 6) in picture #9 reveal that, in fact, these teeth are affected by FTR and should be extracted. They are painful and will probably loose their crowns like the tooth roots in picture 7 above.
  • The lower incisors in the bottom left image appear to be very healthy teeth. In Reality most of them should be extracted because they have lost 30% to 50% of their supporting bone and tissue. The dental x-ray of these teeth have the numbers 10, 11 & 12.
  • 10, 11 & 12 – Indicate severe loss of bone and supporting tissue on these apparently normal looking incisors. This loss of tissue results in dental pockets which can lead to bacteria accumulation in those pockets and more dental disease.
  • 10 – Indicates where the supporting bone should be visualized on this incisor tooth.
  • 11 – Indicates where the supporting bone can actually be visualized.
  • 12 – Indicates the tip end (apex) of the tooth root. This tooth and others in this dental x-ray should be extracted.
  • NOTE: Without Dental x-rays very little of the dental disease noted above would have been discovered. As a result this kitty would have been living with a very painful dental condition without any way to tell anyone about it. However, our veterinarians, using dental x-rays, did discover and correct this kitty’s severe dental disease.

That is why your cat needs dental x-rays