Importance of Dental Radiographs

dog smiling

When you take your pet to visit our veterinary dentist, you will probably expect them to perform a thorough examination of her teeth. However, something that many owners do not expect is to be asked permission to perform dental x-rays on their beloved furbaby.


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Why Are Dental Radiographs Important?

X-rays are a common occurrence in human dental care, but they can be just as beneficial for your pet. The reason for this is exactly the same. Teeth are often compared to icebergs because only some of each tooth is visible to the naked eye. The rest of the tooth is buried deep in the gum and is unable to be seen unless your animal is given an x-ray.


Great dental health is important for your furry friend for several reasons. The most obvious is that it will keep her teeth strong and healthy and functional. However, many owners are not aware that good dental health can also protect your pet from a range of unpleasant conditions that impact her general health, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Therefore, if you want to ensure that your pet has the healthiest and longest life possible, you should be making great oral care a major priority.


If our veterinarian was to judge the health of your pet’s teeth by the visible part of the tooth alone, he could miss decay and damage that has occurred below the gums. However, by identifying problems below the gums early, our vet can start your pet on the necessary treatment that will solve the current dental issues. Not only this, but it could also prevent them from spreading and causing further damage to your pet’s oral health and even her general wellbeing.


Are Dental Radiographs Safe for my Pet?

As a responsible owner, it is understandable for you to be worried about the safety of dental radiographs. The technology and safety equipment used in x-rays is now considered to be safer than ever before. Most veterinarians agree that the benefits of dental radiographs far outweigh the risks, and our vet will only recommend x-rays when they are considered necessary to minimize your pet’s exposure.


The Use of Anesthetic for Dental Radiographs

In order for the radiograph images to be clear and accurate, it will be necessary to keep your pet perfectly still. Even the most obedient and well-trained pet does not understand the importance of remaining perfectly still, and so in most cases, a general anesthetic will be recommended ahead of the radiograph procedure.


Again, it is understandable that you may be concerned about the use of a general anesthetic. However, our vet will give your animal a thorough assessment for their suitability for a general anesthetic ahead of the procedure, which will minimize their risk of an adverse reaction. Again, most vets agree that the benefits of accurate radiographs far outweigh the risks involved in using a general anesthetic.


Dental radiographs are an essential part of your pet’s dental care routine. If you have any questions or concerns, our veterinarian at Flamingo Pet Clinic will be able to put your mind at rest about the process. Contact us today for further advice.