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Understanding Dental Surgery for Pets: A Guide to Common Procedures

Understanding Dental Surgery for Pets: A Guide to Common Procedures

Dental care for cats and dogs can help to prevent many serious issues from occurring, but sometimes more invasive measures are needed. Here, our Snellville vets talk about how dental surgery for dogs and cats can help address serious concerns related to pet dentistry and oral health.

Pet Dental Surgery

There are a number of potential reasons behind the need for oral surgery in pets. Even with ongoing preventive and routine dental care, unexpected conditions may creep up. In order to best protect the overall health of your pet, oral surgery may be needed to address these issues.

Dental Surgery to Treat Oral Health Issues

While there are a number of different types of oral surgeries, some are more commonly performed than others. Some of these procedures are:

Tooth Extractions

A dog tooth extraction is a surgical procedure performed by your veterinarian to remove a damaged or decayed tooth from your dog's mouth in order to restore good oral health and relieve pain. Your dog will need to be placed under general anesthesia for the procedure in order to ensure the safety of your pup and the veterinary team working on them.

Gum disease and a lack of dental care and oral hygiene are the main causes behind a dog needing a dental extraction. When a tooth is damaged beyond repair, it is important to remove it to prevent infection and pain caused by the decayed tooth.

Periodontal Treatment

When a dog experiences gum disease, the bacteria have been allowed to develop below the gumline which can directly affect the structures that hold your teeth firmly into place. This most commonly occurs when untreated plaque and tartar stick to the tooth and make their way beneath the gum line.

This disease starts in the form of gingivitis and develops into periodontal disease as the gum and bone around the tooth deteriorate. As this occurs, pockets around the tooth can develop, allowing food and bacteria to collect below the tooth. If left untreated it can contribute to both bone and tooth loss.

Oral Tumor Surgery

If your dog has oral tumors they may appear as swellings or lumps on the gums around the teeth, or on the roof of their mouth, although they can appear anywhere in the dog's mouth. These tumors will often break open and bleed which can lead to infection.

Veterinary surgery is generally the best treatment for oral cancer in dogs. If the cancer is caught early and the tumor is easily accessible to your vet, surgery could even cure your pup.

If your dog needs this surgery the vet may also remove a section of the jawbone in order to ensure the tumor is completely removed.

Veterinary Dental Procedures

So you've dropped your dog or cat off for their dental procedure, what happens once they get in there?

  1. We will first bring your pet into the examination room where we will perform a complete physical and diagnostics to ensure that your pet is fit to undergo anesthesia and the dental procedure itself.
  2. Once your pet has been cleared for sedation, they will be given the anesthesia and monitored constantly. Our vets in Snellville provide anesthesia to all of our patients before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to perform the necessary dental care, safely.
  3. Once your pet has been safely anesthetized, the vet will remove any calculus, and chart out the teeth showing which ones are in need of more in-depth dental care.  The vet will then take the time to closely examine each tooth, looking for any visual signs of gum disease.
  4. Your dog or cat will then have X-rays done to see any potential issues that lie beneath the surface of the gums.
  5. If your pet has any teeth with advanced decay that require extraction, the vet will give your pet special pain medications and carefully perform the extraction. Once the tooth and all of its roots have been successfully removed, your vet with suture the empty space shut.
  6. Once any extractions are complete, the vet will scale and polish the remaining teeth to clear away any plaque and tartar buildup.
  7. At this time their dental procedure is complete and they can be woken up. Your pet may or may not be kept on IV for a short while after waking in order to continue to provide needed fluids and pain medications until they are ready to go home.

Why a Certified Veterinarian or Dog or Cat Dentral Specialist Performs Dental Procedures

Veterinarians are trained to provide the care that your dog or cat needs. This includes basic oral health care. Some vets undergo additional training to perform more specialized veterinary dentistry services.

If a veterinary specialist will be needed to address your pet's oral health concerns, your vet will speak with you and offer their recommendations and any additional referral that may be needed.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you have questions about your dog or cat's upcoming oral procedure? Contact our Snellville vets today. We are here to address your concerns.

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Snellville Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Snellville companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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