Murry’s Teeth

Murry is a 5-½ yr old, neutered male, domestic medium haired cat. His owner is the best cat owner in the world! He is indoor only and is up to date on all vaccines, and he eats a diet of canned and dry commercial cat foods. Murray has no known health issues and he was presented for a routine COHAT (comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment). Murry has had previous dental extractions so several of his teeth are already missing.

This is what his teeth looked like prior to cleaning:

There is very mild tartar on most teeth and mild to moderate gingivitis especially around the k9 teeth.  Look closely at his lower k9 teeth (right).

They look perfectly good to me! They are clean and have very mild gingivitis around them. But, upon closer inspection with magnification and a very thin dental explorer, 1 very small bleeding hole was discovered at the inside of the base of each crown.

Then, his dental radiographs were performed and we discovered this:

These teeth are in the advanced stage of tooth resorption and are very painful. The only treatment option to alleviate Murray’s pain is to extract the teeth. This just goes to show you that even with a very dedicated and vigilant owner, and visibly clean teeth, a significant and painful dental disease can lurk beneath the gum line and is only visible with dental radiographs. This is why we always radiograph every tooth every time.

**This also demonstrates why, unfortunately, we cannot estimate the entire cost of a comprehensive dental procedure prior to cleaning and radiographing the entire mouth. Likewise, we cannot estimate the cost of extracting teeth or performing other treatments prior to cleaning and radiographing the entire mouth. In this case, the extractions were relatively simple as only the crowns of the teeth and a small amount of root needed to be removed. In other cases, these 2 teeth may have taken an hour to remove, drastically changing the cost of the procedure.