Does This Tooth Need To Be Extracted?

Does This Tooth Need To Be Extracted?

When you are looking at a tooth and it’s surrounding gums, often the answer just isn’t clear. We have been incorporating Digital Dental Radiography into our Dental Cleaning and Polishing protocols at PSVC for about a year, which now gives us a more clear indication of TOTAL TOOTH HEALTH. Fifty percent of dog’s or cat’s teeth are hidden from view under the gumline. In the past, if the tooth wasn’t wiggly loose, or if we couldn’t see clear evidence of exposed tooth roots, we would have to judge the tooth to be healthy and leave it in place. Look at the pictures below of a typical appearing tooth after the tartar has been removed, and then a Digital Dental Radiograph of that same tooth.

The photo of the tooth and gums has the appearance of a normal healthy tooth. There is no gum recession, very little inflammation, and the gums are hugging the neck of the tooth – and this tooth is not wiggling in the socket. However, the radiograph of that same tooth tells a completely different story. The bone of the socket (alveolus) of the root shown above the marker is completely eroded away. The bone around the other root has eroded down about fifty percent of the length of the root. Because our pets can’t tell us, months before the picture looked like this, this dog would have had significant tooth pain and significant bacterial infection in the bone.

While we are determined to save every tooth we can, it has become clear that Digital Dental Radiographs are identifying many more diseased teeth and sparing our pets additional months of pain and discomfort until the signs become obvious at the gum surface when abscesses are draining.

Call our Receptionists Karen, Jann, and Michelle to schedule a Dental Cleaning and Polishing for your pet today – 412-798-8770

Last week, the third week of February, clients have told us they are seeing ticks on their dogs. I saw one on the hair of a dog who had just been walked around our building. I will be spraying this weekend when the rain subsides. IF YOU STOPPED TICK AND FLEA CONTROL THIS WINTER, START BACK ON IMMEDIATELY. Newly emerging Spring ticks are voraciously hungry. Prevent Lyme disease and the four other tick transmitted diseases in your pets.

This is a great time of year to get a Lyme Disease vaccination for your dog. Also, for dogs who are social –meaning dogs who go to doggie day care, go to dog parks, are boarded or groomed frequently– there is now a Canine Flu vaccine that protects against both Flu strains seen in the US. Call our Receptionists for an appointment.

Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic is a state-of-the-art, full-service suburban veterinary facility serving the Pittsburgh Area since 1980.. We offer diagnostic, medical, surgical, and dental care to dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, and pocket pets in the Pittsburgh area.

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