These pictures illustrate the importance of taking dental x-rays at the time of the dental cleaning. This was the tooth of a 14 yr. old standard poodle. She wasn’t showing any obvious signs of discomfort (like most do) so the owners never knew. The pet had previous dental cleanings but x-rays where never done or offered and there was no obvious hole in the inside of the tooth, only some small cavities, so the problem was never detected. This problem was finally seen during full dental examination under anesthesia at the time of her latest dental cleaning. X-rays revealed moderate bone loss underneath the tooth, otherwise invisible to the naked eye. The tooth was removed and she recovered uneventfully. This defect likely started with a single small cavity that, over the years, caused a major problem on the affected tooth. Without removal of the affected tooth, the pet would’ve been exposed to chronic pain, infection leading to a possible abscess, or/and even spreading of the infection to adjacent teeth. EARLY STAGES OF PERIODONTAL DISEASE START BELLOW THE GUM LINE, SO IS NOT DETECTABLE BY THE NAKED EYE. DENTAL X-RAYS ARE AN INTEGRAL PART OF A ROUTINE DENTAL CLEANING. DON’T LET A SMALL PROBLEM BECOME A BIG ONE. There is a reason your dentist takes dental x-rays to you every year…why would your pet be any different?