Pet Dental Health


The Importance of Regular Pet Dental Cleanings

We all understand the value of regular dental cleanings for ourselves. As a matter of fact, we generally go every six months regardless of our oral health. In addition, annual physical exams and laboratory exams are recommended for both humans and veterinary patients. This is all a function of current best practice which is “preventative medicine”. This type of care is ubiquitous in all forms of health practice, except veterinary dentistry, where we wait for disease to be present and then we treat it.  Continue reading “The Importance of Regular Pet Dental Cleanings” »

Pathologic Mandibular Fracture in an Older, Small Breed Dog

Classically, mandibular fractures were the result of significant trauma (hit by car, long falls, baseball bat accident), and in large breed dogs this is definitely still the case.  However, in our small and toy breeds, there is a condition seen with increasing regularity which is called a “pathologic fracture”.  Continue reading “Pathologic Mandibular Fracture in an Older, Small Breed Dog” »

Ask the Vet Dentist: What Questions Should I Ask My Veterinarian About Pet Dental Health?

As veterinary dental specialists, we want to help pet owners know how they can best partner with their family veterinarian to monitor and improve their pet’s dental health. We understand the main point of contact for most pet owners as it relates to pet health is their veterinarian, so we want to share a few tips on questions that are important to ask about your dog or cat’s dental health and the pet dental cleanings. Continue reading “Ask the Vet Dentist: What Questions Should I Ask My Veterinarian About Pet Dental Health?” »

Ask the Vet Dentist: What Things are Bad for My Dog to Chew On?

All of us who are doting pet parents love to buy new chew toys or treats for our dogs. We wander up and down the aisle of our favorite pet store or browse online for fun new toys we know will get tails wagging. But are there dangers lurking in among all of those items aimed at offering hours of chewing entertainment for our dogs. Continue reading “Ask the Vet Dentist: What Things are Bad for My Dog to Chew On?” »

Close up lesions

The case of hidden tooth resorption…

A professional veterinary dental cleaning is far more than a simple “scale and polish”.  While this is a key purpose for the procedure, there is another aspect which is as important (and actually in some cases MORE important) than the cleaning itself.  That is the oral examination and dental radiographs under anesthesia, almost always the only way painful problems can be identified in pets mouths. Continue reading “The case of hidden tooth resorption…” »

Upper Jaw Fracture Repair for Puppy

Cute little Layla was attached by another dog which broke out part of her upper jaw.  Initially, her owners thought things looked ok from the outside, but upon evaluation by Dr. Niemiec, it turned out the damage was fairly extensive. Layla had severely fractured her jaw, leaving damage to her puppy teeth as well as her un-erupted adult teeth. Continue reading “Upper Jaw Fracture Repair for Puppy” »

Dentigerous Cyst

A five year old Pit Bull Terrier named Roscoe presented to Veterinary Dental Specialties and Oral Surgery to have an anesthetized dental exam, cleaning, a few teeth with uncomplicated crown fractures (chipped teeth) sealed after the fractures were noted by his referring veterinarian.  However, during his anesthetized exam, a lower left premolar was noted to be missing (Figure 1). Continue reading “Dentigerous Cyst” »

Non-Vital Teeth

Arlo is an eight year old Boxer/Hound mix who was a patient at Veterinary Dental Specialties and Oral Surgery in California. He came in due to a crown fracture of his right mandibular canine which was noted by the veterinarian at the Department of Animal Services.

Diagnosis:
On awake examination discoloration of the right maxillary canine and left mandibular canine were noted in addition to the complicated crown fracture of the right mandibular canine. Once under anesthesia, dental X-rays confirmed that the discolored teeth were non-vital, or dead, by the presence of a widened root canal. Due to a malocclusion, a few incisors also had complicated crown fractures.

Treatment:
The non-vital canines were treated with root canal therapies. One of the root canal therapies had a complication and was not able to be performed, so the canine was extracted. The fractured incisors were also extracted. Arlo’s other teeth were scaled and polished.

Post-Operative Result:
Arlo now has a nice clean smile to show off back at the Department of Animal Services. The discolored teeth will remain a unique color, but are no longer a source of infection. Hopefully, a sweet boy with a healthy mouth will help Arlo to be adopted soon!

Tooth Resorption in an Adult Dog

Ruby, an 8 year old German Shepherd, presented to Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists for her annual professional dental assessment and cleaning. Full mouth intraoral radiographs were obtained under general anesthesia and a thorough examination was performed to evaluate all of Ruby’s teeth and gingiva. Significant tooth resorption affecting the crown of the left maxillary fourth premolar tooth (208) was found. Calculus accumulation prevented this lesion from being visible while Ruby was awake, but  significant damage to this tooth was present. Continue reading “Tooth Resorption in an Adult Dog” »