Accurately Diagnosing Dental Disease:
What You Can and CAN’T See
Dental X-rays are an essential part of a complete dental cleaning, as 70% of gum disease lies below the gum line where it cannot be detected without X-rays.
Canine Premolar: Crown appears visually normal but one root has completely eroded from decay.
End Stage FORL: Tooth crown is missing but inflamed root remains (can be very painful).
Like an iceberg in the Arctic Ocean, many of the indications of dental disease are hidden beneath the gum line. Digital dental X-rays (also known as radiographic imaging) are an important tool in diagnosing and treating dental conditions. They allow our veterinarians to assess the heath of your pet’s mouth from the insides of the crowns, roots, and tissue under the gum line. For example, a tooth with a chipped crown may have healthy internal structures and roots and require no treatment; while a normal appearing crown with inflamed gum may show advanced root infection, requiring removal of the tooth to avoid ongoing pain.
Dental X-rays are vital in the diagnosis of periodontal disease. Radiographic imaging aids in the discovery of bone density loss around tooth roots, indicating the early phases of the disease. In more advanced stages, tooth extraction determinations can be made by evaluating the loss of bone support around the root of the affected tooth.
Other indications in which dental X-rays may be recommended:
- Broken teeth
- Signs of root tip infection can be determined
- Discolored teeth
- Evaluation of the pulp chamber for indications of root tip infection
- Swelling on the face under the eye
- Determine if there is an infection of the root tip or cystic teeth
- Resorptive lesions (cavities along the gum line)
- To assess changes in the tooth root and surrounding bone tissue
- Oral tumors
- Determine if there is bone involvement
- Pre- and post-tooth extraction
- Ensure that all the roots have been removed
- Missing teeth
- Ensure there are no roots or tooth fragments below the gum line
- Oral surgery
- Determine the presence and/or extent of oral fractures and assess margins for oral tumor surgery
- Full mouth series
- Ensure that all teeth, roots, and bone appear healthy.
Learn more about dental health care and your pet.
Odyssey goes above and beyond my expectations, and truly cares about my dog. We will always come back to Odyssey and highly recommend it to anyone who asks!
Dr. Bruss is great—he is very kind and caring. He called us several times to explain our options and didn’t pressure us to make a particular decision.
My dog sees Dr. Stokes for his vet care and she is the best vet ever. She understands my dog’s unique needs and I highly recommend them!
No matter which vet we've seen, they’ve always been loving and compassionate whether we were there just for yearly vaccinations or for something a bit more serious.
I am in love with all of the staff at this facility. If I could, I would want to be treated there, but sadly, they only take the four legged types...
Wouldn’t go anywhere else! I feel surrounded by people that love animals as much as I do. Wouldn’t change a thing.
Services are very reasonably priced and we've never felt like we had any unnecessary procedures or products pushed on us. we really feel that we can trust Dr. Bruss and Odyssey Veterinary Care with our cats’ health.
— Onion Girl
Dr. stokes has seen our family through kitten to senior cat, puppy and loss of dog, new puppy and everything in the middle! We think the care our animals get here is top notch!
Great people, great care! You've all made such a difference in my life and Abby's too. Thanks Odyssey Staff!
When they prescribed my dog eye drops for an infection, they gave me the instructions and then called me within a 48 hour period to ask me how the medication was going and if I had any questions.
They are very friendly and very thorough. The dog loves them, and she’s shy, so that’s a good thing. We have always had a lot of confidence in what they have told us.
They happily accommodate our special request to see our big dogs in their fenced back yard, since our 100-pound German Shepherd gets nervous in a small examination room.
We bring our dog to Odyssey Vet Clinic and will continue to do so as long as we live in this area. They are the best vets we’ve ever had.
They are very friendly, and they always remind you of when your appointments are. They are the top veterinary hospital in Madison. They are very good.