Dentistry & Dental X-ray

Dental disease is very common in both cats and dogs and typically causes the following symptoms:

  • Changes in behaviour (e.g. not playing as much, being ‘quieter’, feeling ‘grumpy’)
  • Pain
  • Red gums
  • Bad breath
  • Feeling of tiredness/slowing down (often mistaken for signs of ageing)

Dental disease can cause problems with eating, but this is quite rare.

Book a dental check-up

Dental x-rays available at Daventry Vets

Dental x-rays are essential to be able to fully assess dental disease in dogs and cats. At Daventry Vets we have invested in the latest digital dental x-ray equipment and we x-ray all of our patients undergoing dental treatment.

Dental health is key for a healthy pet

If not treated promptly, the bacteria in your pet’s mouth associated with dental disease can enter the blood stream and can cause disease in the heart, kidneys, and liver. This will ultimately shorten the lifespan of your pet.

The most common dental disease we see in dogs and cats is periodontal disease (often referred to as gum disease). Plaque (an invisible film containing bacteria) builds up on the teeth and gums. This then leads to inflammation of the gums and supporting structures of the tooth, the formation of tartar (or calculus) and, if left untreated, gum recession, loss of the bone supporting the tooth, loss of the tooth or the requirement for tooth extraction.

Maintaining dental health is vital for the health and happiness of your pet.

Book your pet’s annual health check or an impromptu dental check-up today.

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What can we do to keep your pet’s teeth healthy?

Come to Daventry Vets for a health check with your pet at least once a year. We will always look at their teeth and give you advice on how to keep your pet’s mouth healthy. We can advise on preventative dental care, such as teeth brushing or encouraging your pet to eat certain kinds of diets or chews.

If we find that your pet is suffering from dental disease, then your pet’s teeth will need descaling and polishing. The equipment we need to use to do this is identical to that used by your dentist. To allow cleaning of the teeth with an ultrasonics or hand scaler, your pet will require a general anaesthetic as we need to be able to clean and examine under the gumline and this is uncomfortable, needs access to the all sides of all of your pets teeth.

Only Veterinary Surgeons or qualified Veterinary Nurses under the direct supervision of a Veterinary Surgeon should perform dental work on your pet.

The RCVS have produced a statement on the need for anaesthetics for dental procedures in cats and dogs, read more:


Dental extractions may be necessary if teeth are fractured, loose or diseased.

When teeth break or are fractured in cats or dogs, they cause pain exactly as they would if you broke a tooth yourself. The teeth of cats and dogs are very firmly attached to the jaw bones (because they are carnivores) and many of the teeth have more than one root. It is frequently necessary for us to ‘cut’ the teeth into sections to allow us to extract them. When healthy teeth are fractured, they can be difficult to remove, requiring us to do a ‘surgical extraction’ where we create a ‘gum flap’, remove bone and put dissolvable stitches in the gums to speed up the healing process and reduce pain.


In some cases, root canal treatment can be offered as an alternative to removal of a fractured tooth. This has the advantage of preserving the tooth and is particularly suitable as an alternative treatment for fractured healthy canine teeth in dogs. Root canal work is usually more expensive than extracting the teeth and requires referral to a veterinary surgeon with further experience in this field.


Cats commonly develop resorptive lesions in the enamel of their teeth, roots or both. The enamel dissolves exposing the sensitive parts of the tooth which causes pain. Why these lesions develop is not understood. These lesions are not caused by dental decay or ‘cavities’ (which are common in people) but the effects are the same (i.e. pain). Affected teeth should be extracted. Dental x-rays are essential before extracting these teeth as if the roots are found to be involved in the resorptive process then extraction of the roots may not be necessary.


Please note: The above notes serve only as a brief outline of dental disease in the dog and cat. We strongly recommend talking to one of our Veterinary Surgeons for further information and guidance if you think your pet may have any problems with his or her teeth.

Book a dental check-up


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