From routine to emergency care,
we’ve got you covered.
Pet lovers travel from hours away to see us for our unparalleled expertise, compassion, and care.
Oral Health Consultation:
Our doctors will perform a thorough oral examination and discuss your pet’s symptoms with you. Together with a detailed history of your pet’s health, a personalized treatment and home care plan will be developed to meet your and your pet’s needs. All recommended diagnostic procedures, test results, and treatments will be explained in detail during your visit.
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 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.
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
Dental crowns in pets are used to prevent trauma to a compromised tooth structure that would result in 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 your pet has been evaluated by our doctors and a crown is recommendedyou can expect two anesthetized procedures. 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, your pet 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. Just like in people, yes this is doggy braces!
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.
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.
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.
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. WOur 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.
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.
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 believe your dog needs care, please let us know. We’ll be happy to assist.