Frequently Asked Questions
A set of the questions you may have about your fur baby.
When you schedule an appointment at Hospital for Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery (or as we like to call it, HVDOS), our goal is to treat your pet with a high level of expertise and compassion Choosing who to entrust you furry family member to can be a big decision and we believe you and your family veterinarian should be informed and involved throughout your pets care with us. Our doctors and team will care for your pet as if it is our own
At our hospital we have a unique team of doctors ranging from new residents to Board Certified Veterinary Dental Specialists also know as Diplomates of the American Veterinary Dental College.
A Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) is a veterinarian who has been certified by American Veterinary Dental College as having demonstrated specialist knowledge and expertise in veterinary dentistry as a result of completing the AVDC training requirements, completing a residency in Veterinary Dentistry, and having successfully passed the AVDC examination. AVDC is recognized as the specialist certification organization in veterinary dentistry in North America by the American Board of Veterinary Specialties. AVDC diplomates are referred to as veterinary dental specialists. For more information on the AVDC, please visit www.avdc.org
You and your pet may be referred to a veterinary dental specialist if treating your pet’s condition requires advanced procedures or specialized equipment. Your pet’s condition may be uncommon or complicated after routine testing is performed. We aim to work with your family veterinarian to create a treatment plan that is best for your pet.
A Fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry (AVD) is a veterinarian who has had additional training in veterinary dentistry and has passed the examination to achieve Fellow status. The Academy of Veterinary Dentistry was formed to recognize individuals who dedicate a significant part of their professional activities to the practice, instruction, or research in Veterinary Dentistry. A Fellow is referred to as a dentist, however not as a dental specialist. For more information on the AVD, please visit www.avdonline.org.
A veterinary resident is a licensed veterinarian who has graduated from an accredited veterinary school, successfully passed state and national examinations, and has chosen to enter an additional training program following their veterinary education specific to veterinary dentistry. Dental residents are carefully supervised by board-certified veterinary dentists over the 4-5 years of the program. Following successful completion of their dental residency program, they are referred to as as Practice Limited to Dentistry and Oral Surgery, They must pass a comprehensive 2 part examination to be referred a board-certified veterinary dental specialist.
We recommend OraVet Dental Chews-Flavorful as chewy treats that help scrub away plaque and have an active ingredient to create a barrier to the bacteria causing plaque and tartar. Tartar Shield Rawhide Chews which are compressed, soft rawhide chews formulated with an ingredient to fight plaque accumulation. Veggie-Dent chews are a vegetarian based chew that is good for pets with sensitive stomachs or allergies. They are also lower in calorie and can be given daily! They come in different sizes based off your pets weight. We sell these products in our hospital and via our online pharmacy which ships directly to you. Call and ask us how we can set that up!
For daily chewing dental toys (hard rubber toys like the Kong are best) help to massage gums and remove plaque. You can also place CET toothpaste inside of the Kong for the dog to chew. Hard chew toys like antlers, hooves, bones and some Nylabones can be effective at reducing plaque, but they are so hard they frequently fracture those clean teeth! We have found a few companies that make safe chew toys including, West Paw Zogoflex, Kong, and Goughnuts. These are not the only companies out there that make safe chew toys; we recommend always doing your research before purchasing any toys for your pet. We cannot guarantee that these products are 100% safe for your pets teeth and you should always monitor your pet when they have any type of chew toy to ensure they do not swallow or choke on any pieces.
We don’t recommend any chew toys without some “give” or flexibility. The rule of thumb is, if you can’t put a fingernail in a toy, it’s too hard for your pet to chew on. If you see VOHC on dental products this means they have been tested and proven to do its intended purpose, these are products you can trust over other pet store products.
Our goal is to minimize fear and anxiety in all our patients and we recognize that our feline friends require special attention. that promote low stress environments lead to a better experience for our clients, staff members, and most importantly your cat. We have a separate designated quiet waiting area for patients who do not tolerate loud noise or other patients. We also strive to limit waiting time for your cats. We use feline pheromones (Feliway) to create a calming environment for your feline friend. Our staff members are trained to properly handle and restrain your cat to minimize stress and injury. If your cat is admitted to the hospital, we take great lengths to make sure that they are kept in a quiet environment, separate from dogs. If you have special concerns regarding your feline friend, please contact us to discuss their special needs.
Anesthesia is essential for a complete and safe veterinary dental procedure. We understand fear of general anesthesia is a common concern of pet owners. Dental cleaning procedures use sharp tools to clean both above and below the gum line, which can be uncomfortable and stressful for your pet. Anesthesia allows your pet to rest pain-free throughout the entire procedure.
We treat each of our patients individually and create a custom anesthetic plan tailored to a pet’s age, weight, oral health condition, and medical history. A pre-anesthetic examination and tests such as blood and urine analysis are performed to better evaluate your pet’s anesthetic needs. Anesthetic plans utilize medications to address pain, modern gas anesthesia, local anesthetic blocks, and intravenous fluid support for safer, balanced anesthesia.
When general anesthesia is administered appropriately, the risk for anesthetic complications is extremely low. Our doctors are trained to provide safe anesthesia to minimize risk and are assisted by a highly trained veterinary technical staff. During anesthesia, we use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and our surgical team monitor your pet’s heart rate and rhythm, respirations, blood pressure, exhaled carbon dioxide level, blood oxygen level and body temperature. All of these parameters help us to assess how your pet is doing under anesthesia and adjust accordingly. Due to the anesthetic agents we use, most of our patients are alert enough to go home the same day of their procedure.
While under anesthesia we assess the overall health of the oral cavity. We do this by examining of the gums, cheeks, tonsils, tongue and teeth. Each individual tooth is examined. Findings or concerns with each area are recorded in a complete dental chart and used along with dental x-rays to prepare a treatment plan. If needed, we can perform a complete dental cleaning with ultrasonic and hand scaling instruments to remove thick calculi, tartar, and plaque both above and below the gum line. After removing the buildup, the tooth enamel is polished to restore a smooth surface to the teeth.
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If you need help in any of these areas, please let us know. We’ll be happy to assist.