Baxter is a Jack Russell Terrier mix who came to Veterinary Dental Specialties and Oral Surgery due to heavy tartar and gum recession during and examination by the veterinarian at the Department of Animal Services. They also noted that Baxter had nasal discharge and frequent episodes of sneezing. Continue reading “Repair of Oronasal Fistula” »
Pet Dental Health
Thanks to a group of veterinarians led by board-certified veterinary dental specialist Dr. Brook A. Niemiec, DVM, DAVDC of Veterinary Dental Specialties & Oral Surgery, dogs and cats from Best Friends Animal Society sanctuary in Utah received important dental care that not only relieves painful dental conditions, but also greatly improves an animals chance of being adopted. Continue reading “New Smiles for Shelter Pets!” »
While advanced periodontal disease is thought of as being a small breed dog condition, cats do develop periodontal disease and can have significant secondary infections from it. In addition, oral abscesses are generally due to endodontic (root canal) infection, but they can also result from deep periodontal infections. Continue reading “Periodontal Abscess in a Cat” »
Our board certified veterinary dentists are thrilled to hear that our veterinary colleagues in Australia have taken the right stance on the practice of anesthesia free dentistry, and it’s clear risks to a pet’s welfare. Continue reading “Australian Veterinary Community Takes a Stance Against Anesthesia Free Dentistry” »
Kitty, an eight year old cat, was examined by the veterinarian at the Department of Animal Services, who noted gum disease. They contacted Veterinary Dental Specialties and Oral Surgery for diagnosis and treatment so the kitty would have both a healthy mouth and improved opportunity for adoption. Continue reading “Kitty’s Retained Tooth Root” »
If left untreated, periodontal disease in a pet’s mouth will continue to become more severe and cause extensive damage. Continue reading “Treating Beagle’s Severe Periodontal Disease” »
Little Cali was born with a congenital cleft palate. She was constantly getting material and food caught in her nose, which not only creates difficulty breathing, but also creates an environment for chronic nasal infection.
Dr. Niemiec of Veterinary Dental Specialties and Oral Surgery performed a cleft palate surgery to close the defect. Cali will be able to lead a normal life once she heals.
Cori is a five year old male Chihuahua that was adopted from a rescue group. It was immediately apparent that Cori has an upper jaw that is significantly shorter than his lower jaw. However, this was the least of his dental problems.
When Cori’s owner brought him to Dr. Allen Matson at Eastside Veterinary Dentistry for a complete veterinary dental exam, Dr. Matson found Cori had severe periodontal disease with heavy accumulations of plaque and calculus. In addition, many of his teeth had root exposure and were mobile. The periodontal disease was causing Cori a lot of pain in his mouth, and choosing a veterinary dentist was the absolute correct choice of care. Cori’s teeth were cleaned and full mouth x-rays were taken. A total of 17 teeth were extracted and periodontal therapy was performed on many of the remaining teeth.
Cori’s owner is extremely pleased with his response to the comprehensive veterinary dental treatment. Cori now eats dry food without pain for the first time in his life, not to mention delicious, soft chew sticks. As part of an ongoing home-care plan, Cori’s owner brushes his teeth regularly and states he loves having his teeth brushed!
Dotti is a two-year-old, female spayed, Great Dane (figure 1) that was referred to Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists for treatment of a previously diagnosed oral squamous cell carcinoma. The dog had a large, fast growing, mass on the rostral mandible that appeared about a month prior to presentation that was biopsied by the referring veterinarian. The owners reported she seemed to be uncomfortable when eating. Continue reading “Oral Surgery Saves Dotti the Great Dane’s Life!” »
As you know, veterinary dentists are strongly against the practice of anesthesia free dentistry or Non-Anesthetic Dentistry (NAD). There are numerous reasons for this, but mostly because it is a completely ineffective method of pet dental care. Moreover, the single most important step of a prophylaxis (subgingival scaling) cannot be performed without general anesthesia. Patients are often seen following NAD with clean crowns (visible portion of the tooth), but with significant areas of subgingival calculus. This may be the most damaging issue with this service, as it gives the client a false sense that they are improving the dental health of their pet. Dr. Niemiec along with his colleagues regularly have to have hard discussions with clients who are very upset when dental disease is diagnosed despite “clean” crowns. These clients feel that they have “failed” their pet, allowing them to progress to disease despite their well-intentioned efforts.
The following case contains detailed case photographs and video demonstrating the severity of the circumstances and evidence as to the risks of anesthesia free dental cleanings.
This patient had received regular (every other month) NAD. Despite this, she had waxing and waning halitosis. She was eventually referred to Veterinary Dental Specialties and Oral Surgery for a fractured tooth. Upon oral exam, the fractured left maxillary fourth premolar (208) was confirmed; however the teeth were fairly clean, with a few areas of calculus and gingival recession. (Figures 1-3) The patient was placed under anesthesia and oral exam revealed further areas of recession as well as a draining tract over the left maxillary canine (204). (Figure 4).
Periodontal probing revealed numerous periodontal pockets including a very deep pocket on the left canine (Figures 5-8) ad furcation 3 exposure on several teeth (Figure 9). In addition to the advanced periodontal disease, the patient also had tooth resorption, which is a very painful condition.
Finally, watch to see the right maxillary M1 (109) mobile level 3.
Dental radiographs confirmed severe periodontal loss and TRs (Figures 10-14) and surgically 204 had significant bone loss (Figure 15).
The patient was treated with numerus extractions. When the patient returned for the two week recheck, the owner commented that not only was their pet’s breath greatly improved, but also had far more energy.
All veterinary dentists have cases similar to this in which pets have suffered needlessly due to lack of proper care. NAD only serves to hide periodontal disease as well as other painful and infectious conditions.
We encourage veterinarians to refer their clients to this article as well avdc.org/afd for more education about the risks of anesthesia free dental cleanings and to encourage regular veterinary dental cleanings under anesthesia as part of their pet’s regular care.