At the Finchley Vet, we believe that all animals have the right to a pain free and infection free mouth. To that end, we often conduct treatments in order to treat teeth or other areas of the mouth which are causing pain or infection.
There are many conditions where the diagnosis and treatment of the condition can only be done properly with the extra images and information that good quality dental x-rays can give us. Without these x-rays (often taken immediately before and after treatment), painful areas may not be treated properly and infected bits can be left, when they should have been removed.
From the day that we opened, we have taken dental x-ray pictures during these procedures, but this has meant transferring a patient (usually whilst still under anaesthetic) into the general x-ray room and positioning them under the large and relatively unwieldy general x-ray generating machine. This took considerable additional time to do and meant that some of the x-rays were not as good as they could have been.
We are proud to announce that we have just taken receipt of a brand new x-mind dental x-ray generator. This specialised x-ray machine has been installed above the dental procedure table and is fully positionable, allowing us to take better x-rays, quicker and without having to move the patient.
Some of the conditions which it will be really useful for are:
This condition is the result of a build up of calculus on the teeth which causes the loss of jaw bone from around the teeth and a lot of gum pain. X-rays can help us to determine how much bone has been lost around a tooth and therefore whether we can save a tooth or whether we will never be able to make it pain free without surgical extraction of the tooth.
Retained deciduous teeth
When baby teeth do not fall out properly, they can damage the adult tooth as it is coming through and potentially for a long time after it has come through. They need to be extracted if they do not fall out properly, however, they are very long, thin and fragile. Therefore, x-rays are vital to guide the delicate extraction technique needed to ensure that no fragments of tooth remain (which can cause big problems).
An x-ray before and after the extraction of a baby tooth
Tooth root abscess
Swellings on the side of the face can often be caused by infections around a tooth root. Without x-rays it can be impossible to work out which tooth is causing the problem.
Broken teeth may be extremely painful and open to really nasty infections, but sometimes are affected so mildly and nothing needs to be done. X-rays are necessary to help us to determine which teeth must be treated and which can be safely left alone.
a badly broken tooth
A condition in which a cat gets extremely red, inflamed and painful gums. Treatment of this condition is complex, but checking for fragments of broken tooth under the gums is vital and can only be done with x-rays.
Dogs and cats can both have this condition , where the hard material that makes up the tooth is absorbed back into the body, often leaving a very inflamed, red and painful area in the tooth. X-rays are vital to diagnose this condition and ensure that the tooth is surgically extracted properly, in order to avoid future pain.
Feline oro-facial pain syndrome
A syndrome of cats causing facial pain, pawing at the face, quietness etc. It is vital in these patients that all of their teeth are x-rayed to ensure that there are no tooth abscesses, broken teeth or other problems which may be causing the pain.
Often the result of large traumas (e.g. road traffic accidents), dental x-rays are vital for determining how a jaw is fractured and the best method of repair to give a patient back as much function as possible.
Because of the really detailed x-rays that it produces, we will also be able to use it for taking x-rays of dog and cat noses and small areas of the body (like puppy and kitten toes).
The dental x-ray machine is part of our continuing commitment to and investment in providing the best possible treatment for all of our pet patients. We have lots of exciting developments planned for the future and we will keep you updated as they happen, so watch this space!