Intra-oral radiographs (X-rays) are a standard in human dentistry. Recently they have become an essential tool in the maintenance of our pet's oral health. Each dental patient will benefit from oral charting and radiographs. These allow us to obtain a diagnosis and formulate a treatment plan. Therefore, the necessary therapy can be performed during the pet's anesthetic procedure.
Radiographs serve as a medical record of the patient's dental disease and are shared with thepet owner. This way you can better understand the state of your pet's dental disease, the need for the treatment performed, and the importance of follow up visits or home care programs.
Remember much of the tooth lies under the gums. The only way to evaluate the root structure, the inside of the tooth and the supportive bone is to take radiographs. We like to contrast dental radiography's usefulness in a patient with a 6 mm periodontal pocket to our routine use of standard radiology in a patient with a swollen paw. Each instance requires that we use some imaging tool (x-ray & film) to diagnose the cause, periodontal disease or broken bones, and decide what is the best therapy.
Intra-oral film comes in various sizes and provides detailed images. The x-ray film is placed in the pet's mouth. The x-ray unit is then positioned using the parallel or bisecting angle technique to produce an accurate image.
The film is developed in a chair side darkroom within the dental suite. Each film takes approximately one minute to develop by immersing them in a series of developing solutions. Then the veterinarian can evaluate it to make treatment decisions. The film is placed in a fixative solution for 30 minutes then rinsed, dried, labeled, and filed.
The dental radiographs show the fine detail of the tooth and supporting structures.
Dental radiographs are recommended for pets with:
Overall radiographs greatly enhance the quality of dental service we offer to our patients. From routine periodontal cases to more advanced therapies such as root canal, orthodontics, and oral surgery require high quality diagnostic images to offer optimal dental therapy.