Dear Christopher Cat
My veterinarian noticed during my cat’s wellness exam that his teeth and gums need professional attention. She recommended anesthetizing him to thoroughly evaluate his mouth, clean and polish his teeth -– and take X-rays. Are dental X-rays really necessary?
If you want the best for your cat, they are.
Only 40 percent of the tooth is visible above the gum line. The remainder, as well as the bone and other tissues that support the tooth, are hidden.
Radiographs (sometimes called X-rays) allow your veterinarian to examine these essential structures for abnormalities, many of which may cause pain or other problems.
In most cases, a pet with visible dental disease has additional problems that show up only on radiographs.
Furthermore, studies demonstrate that 40 percent of cats with mouths that appear normal on physical examination actually have significant dental disease that is evident only with radiography.
That’s why the American Animal Hospital Association recommends dental radiographs every time a pet’s teeth are cleaned and examined under anesthesia.
Periodontal disease is one of the most common problems we pets suffer. You can help protect your cat from mouth pain and prevent oral infection from spreading throughout his body by having your veterinarian radiograph his mouth when she cleans and examines his teeth.