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Why do we always do dental x-rays?

Hi everyone. It’s Dr. Lavin with Glove Cities Veterinary Hospital & Dove Creek Animal Hospital here with a brief message about dental health month and dental x-rays.

February is dental health month. We celebrate it every year by trying to increase awareness of the importance of taking care of your pet’s dental health, both dogs and cats. One of the things that we do here at our Gloversville location, Glove Cities, we have full dental suite equipment where we perform dental procedures. So dental cleanings, as well as more involved procedures with extractions of teeth.

One of the important things that we get questions about is why do we always do dental x-rays?

Any patient, whether they’re just getting a cleaning or we know they need some teeth removed that are bad, we always do x-rays of their teeth. It’s very important to do so there’s a lot of this different reasons for that, but we’ll give you a few now.

First one is a lot of the times the tooth, all you’re seeing is the crown.

The crown is the part that you can actually see – where their teeth are. It’s kind of just like the tip of the iceberg. That’s just a small portion of the tooth and the roots are up above the gum line where we can’t see it all. So they would be up here where you can’t see them. A lot of times a tooth will be diseased just in the root and you can’t see any evidence in the crown.

We sometimes have abscesses up here, an infection, or, resorptive lesions in cats that you may not see until you do an x-ray where they’re really painful and inflamed. So that’s one really important reason because your pet can’t always tell us that it’s painful.

If the tooth looks okay on the outside, we might assume that it’s healthy.

Other reason is that we need it for surgical planning. So any extractions that we decide we’re doing, sometimes dogs will have an extra root to their tooth that we don’t normally see, but they can have little changes like that, and they might have another one. We would need to know that if we’re going to remove the tooth to make sure we don’t leave any behind or break the tooth or cause more damage to their mouth and their bones.


Another reason is that it can be helpful after we remove a tooth to just double check if it was a really diseased tooth that maybe was breaking apart or kind of rotting away. It helps us to make sure that we got all of the bad stuff out, make sure that all bits of the tooth are out and we don’t leave anything there that can cause further infection or further problems.

Dental Health
If you need us, call Dove Creek Animal Hospital or Glove Cities Veterinary Hospital at (518) 627-9762.

So, dental procedures can definitely be involved and we want to make sure that we’re not just looking at the surface, the tip of the iceberg.

We wanna make sure we’re looking at the whole tooth, make sure that we’re taking care of their oral health with a holistic approach and making sure that their healthy and happy whenever we do those procedures.


I could go on for a while about other reasons it’s important, but just wanted to pass that message on to you guys. If you have any questions about your pets, dental health or any concerns with their health, definitely schedule an appointment at either of our locations in Gloversville or Amsterdam, and we’ll be happy to help guide you. All right. Thank you so much.

Happy dental health month and we’ll see your furry friends soon.

Bye bye.

Glove Cities Veterinary HospitalDove Creek Animal Hospital

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