Here at Advanced Pet Dentistry, LLC, we are in the business of saving teeth whenever possible. Dr. Van has more than 20 years providing advanced dental procedures for pets.
Overview of services offered:
- Advanced oral surgery including oronasal fistula repair, difficult or complicated extractions and oral tumor removal
- Root canal procedures (endodontic treatments) for broken teeth as an alternative to extraction
- Restorative procedures (crown application) for conditions such as enamel defects or to strengthen and protect teeth that have received root canal therapy
- Periodontal therapy to save the large structurally important teeth with the use of bone grafting and other materials to help regenerate tissue structures around the teeth
Feline dental treatments and oral surgeries are also available. Often cats have severe dental disease that must be treated with multiple extractions. This is an area in which Dr. Van has extensive experience.
Orthodontic procedures are available for abnormalities such as incorrectly positioned canine teeth to alleviate oral pain associated with these problems.
All pets receive a comprehensive and thorough evaluation including dental radiographs. Dental prophylaxis is also included at no extra charge when your pet is receiving other dental treatments.
This is what happens when you make an appointment with Dr. Van:
During the initial consultation, Dr. Van will do a thorough physical exam, including listening to the heart and lungs. Any underlying diseases will be assessed. After the exam, your pet’s dental care and any treatments needed will be discussed with you, and treatment recommendations will be made. While many oral problems can be assessed during your pet’s initial exam, a comprehensive exam cannot be performed while your animal is awake. Unlike people, our pets won’t sit in a dental chair and say “aaah” as the dentist evaluates the teeth. Therefore, the full extent of your pet’s dental condition cannot be fully diagnosed until anesthesia has been performed. Once your pet is under anesthesia, in addition to a visual exam and dental probing above and below the gum line to check for pockets and other tooth conditions, full mouth intraoral dental radiographs (x-rays) are obtained. Dental radiographs provide a complete evaluation of all the teeth below the gum line. Dental radiographs are required to determine if a tooth has bone loss, root end abscesses, resorption or other abnormalities. Once these diagnostic steps have been done, if there are additional treatments needed, these will be discussed with you prior to proceeding.
Why is anesthesia needed?
Anesthesia is needed in our pets to obtain a comprehensive oral health evaluation and provide appropriate treatment. While all anesthetic procedures carry a small risk, dental disease is a much greater risk to your pet’s health. Modern anesthetic drugs and monitoring have decreased the risk of anesthesia dramatically. Dental disease occurs due to bacterial infection in the gum tissue and around the teeth. Studies have shown that unchecked dental disease leads to other organ damage such as heart valve disease and kidney disease which is a much greater health risk than anesthesia.
Prior to anesthesia, your pet receives a thorough physical exam. This includes having your regular veterinarian obtain presurgical lab work to assess liver and kidney function. Prior to anesthesia, an intravenous catheter is placed. Preanesthetic medications are given that include drugs for pain control and anxiety. Your pet is then induced with a short acting drug that provides Dr. Van with time to place an endotracheal breathing tube. This allows gas anesthesia to be administered. Patient monitoring is extensive and while Dr. Van is providing dental care, a technician highly trained in anesthesia techniques and monitoring is holding your pet’s paw the entire time, from induction to recovery. Monitoring includes heart rate, respiratory rate, pulse oximetry (measurement of the oxygen levels in the blood), blood pressure measurements, ECG, CO2 levels, temperature and anesthetic depth.
We also offer the services of a Veterinary anesthesiologist. She provides us with anesthesia care for any pets, but particularly our high risk anesthesia patients. She is caring and very knowledgeable in her field.
What is anesthesia-free dentistry?
This is a procedure often offered by groomers and other lay people. It is considered by the American Veterinary Dental Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association to be a cosmetic only procedure. When your pet has this procedure, the tartar on the outside of the teeth is removed but cleaning below the gum line and on the inside of the teeth cannot be done. Periodontal disease occurs below the gum line and while your pet’s teeth may look pretty, hidden disease can be lurking below.