What would you say to a barber that only cut one side of your hair? Or to a mechanic who washed your car but never opened the hood? Even if they worked for cheap, I’d guess that you’d be dissatisfied with either of these services.
Happy with half a hair cut?
Sadly, a similar situation occurs in veterinary dentistry. I frequently hear about pets getting their teeth cleaned, but never having their teeth x-rayed.
“It’s cheaper,” I hear owners say.
But of course it is! Because you’re basically getting half a haircut.
Pain Is A Priority
The goal of veterinary dentistry is eliminating pain, and pain comes from nerves in the roots of teeth, which are below the gums and invisible to the naked eye. The only way to know what’s going on below the surface is to take x-rays.
Both of these teeth needed to be pulled, but only the one on the right was loose.
Another infected, painful tooth that would have been missed without x-rays.
You Get What You Pay For
Would you feel lucky to pay 50% less to a barber who only cuts half of your hair? Or to a mechanic who washes your car but doesn’t service the engine? I sure hope not.
An annual dental procedure should include a complete oral exam, dental cleaning, and full-mouth x-rays. The old saying, “you get what you pay for,” rings true with veterinary dentistry. Instead of calling dentistry without x-rays a great deal, call it what it is: substandard care.