Matthews, NC
2440 Plantation Ctr. Dr.
Matthews, NC 28105
(704) 817-9896


Fax: 704-817-9900

Mt. Pleasant, SC
1169 Chuck Dawley Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 268-4028

Partners in care.

Pet lovers travel from hours away for our unparalleled expertise, compassion, and care.

Routine Dentistry

Oral Health Consultation:

Our doctors will perform a thorough oral examination.  Together with a detailed history of your patient’s health, a personalized treatment and home care plan will be developed. 

Anesthesia & Pre-Anesthetic Exams:

Anesthesia is essential for a complete and safe veterinary dental procedure. We understand fear of general anesthesia is a common concern of pet owners. 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 patients’ 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 patients are  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.

Anesthetized Oral Exam & Dental Cleaning:

The overall health of the oral cavity is assessed with an examination of the gums, cheeks, tonsils, tongue, and teeth. Each tooth is examined to evaluate its crown, attachment to the gum tissue, and position. Findings or problems with each area are recorded in a complete dental chart and used along with dental x-rays to prepare a treatment plan. All tooth crowns are cleaned with ultrasonic and hand scaling instruments to remove thick calculus, tartar, and plaque above and below the gum line. After removing the buildup, the tooth enamel is polished to restore a smooth surface to the teeth.

Endodontics & Prosthodontics


When damage to the internal structure or pulp of a tooth occurs, it is painful and may lead to infection within the tooth and surrounding bone. Through Endodontics is the aspect of dentistry that is focused on treating the inside of the tooth. . with the goal of preserving the tooth structure by treating the inside of the tooth. avoiding a more surgical procedure to extract the tooth.

Root Canals:

Root canal treatment for a fractured, discolored, or non-vital tooth is possible and recommended! When a tooth is fractured the pulp canal containing the nerve and blood supply can be exposed. The exposed nerve is very painful and the fracture allows normal bacteria in the mouth to enter into the tooth, which leads to infection. Discolored teeth are often partially or completely dead or known as non-vital. A grey or lavender tooth is another indication for a root canal. During root canal therapy, the pulp tissue including the nerve and blood vessels are removed to resolve pain and infection associated with the damaged pulp. The inside wall of the tooth is cleaned and a filling material (gutta percha) is placed within the pulp canal to prevent bacteria from entering the canal again.

Vital Pulp Therapy:

Vital pulpotomy, or Vital Pulp Therapy, is partial removal of the living interior of the tooth (the pulp) after the shortening of the crown or recent trauma with the goal of keeping the tooth alive and developing. After a pulpotomy, layers of dental cement are placed on top of the remaining pulp to sterilize and seal it.  The remaining hole in the tooth is then filled in a similar manner to filling a cavity. If a vital pulp is being performed due to trauma such as a recent tooth fracture, if would ideally need to be performed within 48-72 hours. In some cases it can serve as an alternative treatment to extraction, which would remove the tooth and all its functionality, and to root canal therapy, which completely removes the pulp. With Vital Pulp Therapy the tooth continues to age and develop normally. Dental x-rays of the tooth would be needed throughout the pet’s lifetime to monitor the health and development of the tooth.


Dental crowns in pets are used to prevent trauma to a compromised tooth structure that would result n the fracture or breaking of the tooth. Both live teeth or root canaled teeth may be candidates for crown treatment. Teeth with developmental abnormalities that cause weak enamel are at an increased risk for fractures and may be prime candidates for crown treatment. Once a crown is recommended,  two anesthetized procedures are scheduled.  The first is an anesthetized exam and treatment with the doctor preparing the tooth for a crown by removing some of the enamel from the tooth.  Then a mold is taken and sent to a dental crown laboratory for the crown to be created. When the crown is finished, the patient  returns to our hospital for a second anesthetized procedure to have the crown cemented on the tooth. There are two types of crowns offered at HVDOS, metal and tooth colored. Our doctors can help you decide which is the best for your pet.

Tooth Restorations & Sealants:

When enamel is damaged, the underlying layer of the tooth, dentin, is exposed. The exposed porous dentin of the tooth wall can be sensitive and allow for entry of bacteria. Sealing the dentin and/or applying a composite restoration to re-contour the tooth surface provides protection for the underlying pulp. The restoration or sealant will also smooth the surface, preventing increased plaque and tartar accumulation. The teeth need to be monitored long-term to ensure they remain vital using dental x-rays.



Multiple options exist to correct improper alignment and an uncomfortable bite. The goal of veterinary orthodontics is to restore function and comfort to the oral cavity through altering the alignment of the teeth. Some dogs and cats are born with a shortened or elongated jaw and others have retained deciduous (baby) teeth which cause the adult teeth to erupt into an abnormal position. When possible, intervention is done early to allow for full growth potential of the jaw and for the teeth to erupt into a normal position. Intervention may include removal of deciduous teeth, fixed orthodontic devices such as inclined plane or tooth crown extensions, or brackets with elastic bands for active orthodontic movement. 

Inclined Plane:

An inclined plan is an orthodontic device made of acrylic and sometimes wire that is constructed in a patient’s mouth all while under anesthesia. The device is adhered to the upper teeth, a slope is made in the acrylic, and the lower canine teeth slide along it when the mouth is closed. This directs them into a more comfortable position. The amount of force placed on the moving lower teeth is directed by the normal movement of closing the mouth

Masal Chain and Brackets:

A masal chain and orthodontic buttons – similar to one used when a person has braces –  can be used to move teeth to a comfortable position. An orthodontic button is placed on the tooth that needs to be moved and another tooth further back in the mouth.  Orthodontic bands ae then placed to provide the appropriate amount of tension of the tooth to encourage movement in the desired direction.

Tooth Crown Extensions:

Tooth crown extensions are similar to an inclined plane. They are made from acrylic, assembled within the mouth under anesthesia and movement is controlled by normal closing of the mouth. These are placed on the teeth we want to move. The TCE is curved so that a little bit of pressure is applied to the extension every time the mouth is closed, gradually directing the tooth into an appropriate position. They are generally well tolerated and can be used both on deciduous (baby) teeth and permanent teeth.

Dental Imaging

Dental Radiography:

Dental radiographs are the most useful diagnostic tools available for a veterinarian performing dentistry. Radiography allows the internal anatomy of the teeth, the root, and the surrounding bone to be evaluated. Animals must be under anesthesia to safely preform this diagnostic imaging.

Cone Beam CT:

A Cone Beam CT scan is used to produce a 3D reconstruction of the skull. It can show us sinus cavity and the inner ear. Our doctors use our CT scan to diagnose and evaluate oral masses, jaw fractures, and sinus related issues. Due to its sensitivity, Cone Beam CT produces high quality images necessary for specialized oral surgery.  

Periodontal Therapy

Tooth Extraction:

Extraction of teeth as treatment for periodontal disease, severe fractures, or inflammatory conditions is performed frequently with surgical extraction techniques. A gingival flap is made to expose the bone surrounding the tooth so that the tooth can be safely extracted.  This flapp is then sutured closed  over the extraction site to maximize healing. Bone graft materials are used to improve bone remodeling during healing in areas where increased bone retention is needed. We commonly see patients referred for extraction of multiple or all teeth for inflammatory conditions and are proficient in performing these procedures and developing recovery care plans.

Periodontal Therapy:

Teeth, gums, and the bone supporting the tooth roots can all be affected by periodontal disease. When this condition occurs, the support of the tooth can be lost if allowed to progress. We treat periodontal disease affecting the gums and supporting bone through procedures that address bacterial infection, root surface exposure, and pocketing of the gum tissue around the teeth. Procedures such as root planing, perioceutic application, and guided tissue regeneration with bone graft materials can be performed to restore the health of teeth and gums. If severe disease is present with significant loss of the supporting bone or structure of the tooth, extraction of an affected tooth may be performed to eliminate pain and infection.

Oral Masses

What is an Oral Mass?:

An oral mass is a benign or malignant tumor associated with the gums, teeth, tongue, cheeks, roof of the mouth, or the lips. They may get quite large before the pet has any symptoms. We recommend routinely brushing your pets teeth, checking the mouth regularly, and getting yearly cleanings so that masses can be identified when they are smaller and more easily treated. Our doctors have extensive training in the treatment, surgical management, and cosmetic reconstruction sometimes necessary when treating oral tumors.

What Kind of Oral Mass Is It?:

A sedated oral exam with diagnostic imaging and biopsy of the mass is needed to determine what kind of tumor it is. The biopsy sample is sent to a lab for a precise diagnosis. Some tumors are much less aggressive than others and are slow growing, some tumors are aggressive and can grow 2 times the size in a matter of days. Depending on the location and appearance of the mass, additional diagnostic tests including a CT scan or x-rays of the chest may be recommended to determine if a malignant mass has spread.

If the mass is very small, we may be able to remove it completely at the time of biopsy. With larger masses, a small biopsy is taken first and sent to the oral pathologist and the lab report will tell us what kind of tumor it is. Surgical planning is then based on the aggressiveness of the tumor. Some types of malignant tumors require large surgical margins (the space around the tumor), while other benign or locally invasive tumors require less tissue removal.

Can it Just Be Removed?:

The best diagnosis for oral masses are diagnostic images such as the Cone Beam CT scan and biopsy of the tumor site. After those steps are done, we can discuss treatment options of removing the mass depending on locations and severity. If the oral mass is located in the bottom of the jaw, we can perform what is called a mandibulectomy. There are a few different variations of this surgery, depending on the location of the mass. This surgery involved the doctor mapping out margins in order to take the entire tumor and lessen the chances of reoccurrence.

Emergency Dentistry

Fractured Teeth:

One of the most common dental problem in dogs are fractured teeth. If a dog has fractured a tooth and the owner immediately notices it, procedures can be performed to keep the tooth alive. Fractured teeth with pulp exposure of up to 72 hours may be treated with vital pulp therapy, however the sooner treatment can be performed, the greater the chance of success. Signs of fractured teeth with pulp exposure can be bleeding, chewing on the other side, drooling, or hiding from owners.

The most common type of fracture is called a slab fracture. This can occur when a dog bites down on a hard object such as bones, antlers, or other hard chews with enough force that the tooth breaks off a slab or chip from the remaining tooth structure

Another way to fracture teeth is by biting cages or fences, which can fracture the canine teeth in the front of the mouth.

Fractured teeth will lead to what is called a tooth root abscess if left untreated. This occurs when the pulp has been exposed and bacteria has gotten inidecausing infection. The tooth will die over time from the infection and inflammationcausing an abscess to form. An abscess may be seen visually on the pets face, typically it looks like a bump that may eventually lead to draining and discharge. Tooth root abscesses also can occur from severe periodontal disease, most commonly seen with the upper maxillary 4th premolars on a dog.

Fractured Jaw:

There are various types of jaw fractures and repair techniques. We use advanced imaging to determine the best way to alleviate pain and discomfort while setting the fracture to promote the best healing. Jaw fracture stabilization and repair is often performed with wire and acrylic splinting in the mouth. Pets tolerate these appliances well and many owners do not notice them in their pets mouth. Plates or pins are not typically used to put the pieces of the jaw back together. After the jaw is healed we will continue to monitor the health of the teeth in the fracture area to ensure that they continue to develop normally and have not died due to trauma.

Here when you need us.

If you have patients who need our services, please let us know. We’ll be happy to assist.

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