Lucy, a sweet older dog, has had advanced periodontal disease for a long time. The clients were well aware of the severity and how it was negatively affecting her health. However, she also has a pretty significant heart problem. This was so severe that her family vet was not willing to take a chance on putting her under anesthesia to take care of her teeth. Sadly, the infection progressed to the point where her pet parent could tell she wasn’t feeling well. Continue reading “Treating Advanced Periodontal Disease in Dog with Heart Conditions & High Anesthesia Risk” »
This is Isabelle, a three-month-old French Bulldog puppy who suffered a broken jaw after being bit by a housemate. She was in significant oral pain and had moderate bleeding upon presentation. She was referred to Veterinary Dental Specialties and Oral Surgery. She was diagnosed the fracture and scheduled for immediate surgery.
This is Sugar who suffered a broken jaw due to advanced periodontal disease. She had been seen at her family vet after being involved in a dog fight. He had sedated Sugar to fully evaluate the fracture and had extracted the very loose molar in the area. Once he realized the jaw was fractured, he referred her to Veterinary Dental Specialties and Oral Surgery for care.
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?” »
Rowdy is a 2 year old boxer who enjoys life roaming on a few acres outside town. One night, he sustained an accidental close range gunshot wound to the jaw; the shell entered through the cheek of the lower left jaw, passed through the mandible and along the tongue and exited the mouth and lodged under the skin of the right front shoulder. Continue reading “Treatment for Rowdy After Accidental Gunshot Wound to the Jaw” »
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” »
Pearl, an eight month old Westie came for a visit when her owners noticed she had missing teeth. Upon evaluation and thorough veterinary dental x-rays, Pearl was diagnosed with hypodontia, (persistent primary teeth) and impacted right mandibular molar.
The condition required complete extraction the impacted molar and third molar above.
Extraction of the impacted tooth was elected to prevent any possible future complication such as dentigerous cyst formation. Dentigerous cysts can be extremely destructive to the bone and adjacent teeth, and may even result in jaw fracture.
The third molar required extraction in order to access and extract the impacted second molar. Left in place, an impacted tooth may also result in damage (eg resorption) to adjacent teeth. In this case, the impacted tooth was thought to put the first molar at increased risk of disease, pain, or infection.
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.