Tieton Drive Animal Clinic

3901 Tieton Drive
Yakima, WA 98902



Dental X-rays

Here at TDAC we offer digital dental radiographs (x-rays) to better assess your pet's teeth. We encourage full mouth radiographs at the first dental cleaning and whenever significant disease is present. We also take radiographs of each tooth we extract, both before and after extraction to confirm the presence of disease and complete extraction of the roots. Doing x-rays may mean the difference between extracting a tooth or leaving it in, as well as finding hidden disease that may otherwise be causing pain for your pet.

Why do we need x-rays? 70% of the tooth is actually below the surface of the gumline. This is the classic tip of the iceberg situation where just looking at the teeth and probing the gums cannot fully assess the extent of dental disease. X-rays of teeth let us see bone loss around the teeth, the formation of abscesses around the tooth roots, broken roots, root resorption, and jaw fractures. It also lets us find abnormalities that may impact our ability to extract teeth safely including curved root tips or even extra roots.

This picture shows a classic root tip abscess, invisible to anyone looking at the tooth itself. The red circle is outlining significant bone loss around the root. Note that the other root on this tooth is solid with no bone loss, meaning that this tooth would not likely be loose on exam. 

This next picture is an example of an abnormality that isn't harmful to the pet, but makes tooth extraction more difficult: a curved root tip.  Knowing a root tip is curved ahead of time means we can better plan our extraction to avoid breaking the roots.  The arrows in the picture point to root resorption and bone loss near the adjacent tooth.  

In this picture we see a healthy tooth but with an interesting finding: an extra root!  This premolar normally has two roots, but in some cases a third root develops.  Again, this shouldn't cause a problem for the animal, but can cause some problems for us should this tooth ever need to come out.  Knowing this abnormality is present allows us to plan any extraction appropriately.