Effective Dental Treatment Using Digital Dental X-Rays
The Visiting Vet now offers and highly recommends digital dental X-rays (radiography) during all dental cleanings. Since approximately 55-60% of the teeth are not visible with just an oral examination, dental X-rays allow us to evaluate the teeth below the gum line to check for painful dental issues such as resorptive lesions, periodontal diseases, fractures, and much more. We purchased a digital dental X-ray system and began using it in December 2016.
Top-of-the-Line Dental Treatments
Veterinary dentistry is currently undergoing tremendous modernization. The days of having a technician clean tartar visible above the gum line, and “pull the loose teeth” are gone. Practice standards dictate a higher level of oral care for our patients, and dental radiology is a vital part of those standards.
It is not possible to provide good-quality dental care without utilizing radiographs. Most dental pathology lies underneath the gingival margin, and cannot be visualised. Without radiographs, you will miss most of the oral problems present in your pet, possibly leaving them in discomfort for years.
The patient, the owner, and the practice all benefit from providing a higher level of dental care. We feel so strongly about the need for dental X-rays on all our pets. The fee for 6-20 radiographs (full mouth rads) is only $80-100. This includes 6-20 dental radiographs during a dental cleaning appointment.
Dr. Rotigel decided to practice her new dental X-ray system on her dog, Derby and her cat, CoCo in early January 2017. She knew that they were both due for their yearly dental cleaning but besides mild - moderate dental tartar, no other issues were noted on routine oral examination, even under anesthesia.
Derby's dental X-rays looked good although there were 2 suspicious areas on her upper PM4 tooth roots which will be monitored and radiographs will be repeated in 6-12 months. For CoCo, unfortunately there were 3 big issues found with dental X-ray that would have been otherwise missed.
He had 2 lower canine teeth with painful resorptive root lesions and there was a buried upper incisor root tip. All 3 of these teeth needed extraction. See the below discharge information sheet for CoCo.
We are also now offering dental bonded sealant for uncomplicated tooth fractures. Dr. Rotigel received training on this innovative technique in December 2016 at Michigan State University. Prior to this, referral was made to a veterinary dentist for this service although that often became cost prohibitive.
This is done under anesthesia, usually during a dental cleaning when a tooth fracture is found which does not involve the pulp or root canal and has not affected the root yet. The approximate cost for this procedure is $55.
Dental Bonded Sealant
Decreases exposed dentin and pain
Blocks route of infection
Allows repair of dentin
Looks cosmetically better
Decreases tarter and plaque accumulation
Decreases further fracturing
95% success rate and tooth will go on to be viable
80% of these teeth will eventually die without any treatment
NSAIDS or pain control is administered for 1-2 days post procedure.
Dental radiographs are recommended 6-12 months later to confirm success