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Veterinary Dentistry Dental Case

Reading Veterinary Dental Radiographs for Tooth Resorption in Cats

Reading Veterinary Dental Radiographs for tooth resorption in cats can be a challenge. Classic radiographic signs in vet dentistry are discussed.

Watch the Video Above or Read the Transcript Below


Image of Reading Veterinary Dental Radiographs for Tooth Resorption in Cats

Image of bleeding in third premolar of a cat

Let's talk briefly about something else that's really, really common as a case example and that is tooth resorption in cats. We've got this image. Take a look at that, look at those two teeth that you can see. There's obvious changes there, around with the bleeding on that third premolar, the one on the right side. The fourth premolar you have to look really close to see the changes on that but, take a look at that. See what you think and then I'm going to show you the radiograph.


Obvious on the third premolar, we've got replacement resorption with bone. There’s no root structure there that’s visible. It's all bone replacing the tooth root. The crown is affected. The margin where all that inflammation was grossly is causing all that inflammation there where the crown has been dissolved and the gum is growing into that. Look at the tooth to the left, look at the crown, and look at the shade in that crown and then look back at the tooth itself.

Veterinary dental radiograph showing replacement resorption with bone

Image of a pink hue in the crown, especially on the right side of the middle cusp

You can see that pink hue in the crown, especially on the right side of the middle cusp and then look at it on the radiograph.



You see that really nice white tip and then you see that grey, as opposed to the molar to the left of it. That is radiographically the same thing that we are seeing grossly with that pink. That's where the crown is involved with tooth resorption which might not get picked up unless you're really looking at that closely. You have to really closely evaluate that in order to make that determination.

Veterinary dental radiograph showing the crown involved with tooth resorption

Veterinary dental radiograph showing the crown involved with tooth resorption

There's that area outlined that I’m talking about. What we would do is, we would turn that patient over.


Were going to look at it like we would be looking at it surgically with the crowns facing us and in order to resolve that, what we would do would be to go in there, open that tissue up and take our little diamond football, diamond round bur, or very carefully a carbide round bur and go in there and remove the crown down to where we have smooth bone.

Image of the removal of the crown down to where we have smooth bone

Image of the extraction of the other tooth

Smooth all that out, extract the other tooth, and then close that.


That will take care of that problem for that individual patient.

Veterinary dental radiograph showing the tooth after extraction

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