Small animal dentistry

Dental disease is a significant health issue for our family pets. Dental disease can be painful for your pet, but also can lead to significant secondary health concerns. Bacteria gaining access to the blood stream thru inflammed gums can travel to the heart and kidneys causing disease there.

Small breed dogs are most at risk for degenerative dental disease. Plaque and tartar accumulation over time can lead to gingivitis and periodontitis.

Larger breed dogs will often have healthier teeth, however they are more at risk of fracturing a molar chewing on bones or rocks. A fracture can expose the pulp cavity, which inevitably leads to a tooth root abscess.

Cats in particular are prone to resorptive root lesions, these can present with caries similar to human cavities.

Regular brushing is the best way to keep your pets teeth healthy. If your pet requires a dental cleaning and/or procedure, it is important that you know what that entails.

Pets are given a preanesthetic exam. They are sedated, and an intravenous catheter is placed. The patient is induced under general anesthesia. Blood pressure, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, heart rate and temperature are continuously monitored by an animal health technician.

An animal health technician will perform a dental scaling and ultrasonic cleaning of the teeth. The veterinarian then performs a dental exam, charting any gingival pockets, inflammation and recession.

Any concerning areas are then xrayed. If there is significant boney loss, or a tooth root abscess, the tooth is removed.

The remaining teeth are polished and fluoride is applied.

A few before and after pics of some cases we seen at the clinic.

These pets went home with a few less teeth, but they were much happier and owners even noticed a "spunkier" attitude!

Digital Dental X-Ray

These x-rays show boney loss associated with chronic periodontitis.

This x-ray shows tooth root abscesses at the base of both roots of this molar tooth.

This is an xray of feline resorptive lesions. The fuzzy margins of bone around the tooth show that the root is slowly being "resorbed" into the jaw. A carie can be seen on the crown of the tooth. Notice the remains of a tooth root on the left side of the image.

This is a great video on how to brush your dog or cats teeth!