Find a board certified veterinary dentist specializing in advanced animal dental care and oral surgery for your dogs and cats.

Pet dentists offer a wide range of veterinary dentistry services including comprehensive dog and cat teeth cleanings, fractured pet tooth repair, treatment for pet periodontal disease and oral surgery for all pet dental injuries and disease.

Pet dental health is vital in the long term overall health of your pets and it’s important to choose an experienced dog or cat dentist who can provide the highest level of care for your four legged family members. When choosing an AVDC vet dental specialist, you can be assured your dog or cat will receive a complete exam, including advanced anesthesia technology and vet dental x-rays that assure a comprehensive picture of your pet's dental health and any issues that may be causing them pain. If your pet needs a dental exam or you are concerned about a potential problem in your dog or cat's mouth, locate a vet dental specialist in your area and contact them to learn more about their veterinary dentistry services.

Small Tooth Fracture Can Mean Big Infection for Pets

A different patient, with arrow pointing to the classic swelling below the eye that is sometimes seen with an abscessed tooth in this area.

A different patient, with arrow pointing to the classic swelling below the eye that is sometimes seen with an abscessed tooth in this area.

Even very small dental fractures can sometimes lead to severe infection inside the effected teeth. This dog presented to Dr. Tony Woodward at Animal Dental Care with a severely swollen face below the left eye. A detailed oral exam showed a very small fracture of the tip of the left upper fourth premolar. A dental X-ray of that tooth showed large areas of bone damage around the ends of the roots, especially the distal (back root). The small fracture had exposed dentin, which appears to be solid, but contains many microscopic fluid-filled tubules. Bacteria were able to migrate up through the dentin tubules, leading to severe infection inside the tooth. The infection then leaks out from the ends of the roots, causing damage to the roots and surrounding bone.

To avoid the trauma of extracting this large three-rooted tooth and to maintain chewing function, the owner elected to have the tooth treated with root canal therapy. Root canal therapy serves to clean out and disinfect the root canal system, which is the hollow space inside of the tooth. Once the root canal system is cleaned and disinfected, filling materials are placed inside the tooth to eliminate any potential hiding place for infection. Finally, durable composite restorations (fillings) are placed in the access sites used to clean out the tooth.

Because veterinary patients rarely show any signs of pain with dental disease, it is fortunate that this dog’s face swelled up. Otherwise the painful infection would have gone unnoticed. While veterinary patients rarely show any obvious signs of dental disease, when painful dental problems are identified and treated appropriately, most owners report that their pets are acting better after treatment than before. An important point to consider is that very few abscessed teeth in veterinary patients ever have any associated swelling or drainage. For this reason, all fractured teeth, even those with very small fractures, should have dental x-rays taken to determine what treatment is required. If the teeth appear to be dead or infected inside, they should either be treated with root canal therapy or extracted. If the teeth appear to be alive, the fractured areas may be treated with bonded resin sealants to improve patient comfort and decrease the chance of future infection.