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Specialized Dentistry for Pets

February 15, 2017

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As dental care turns into more of a routine offering at veterinary clinics, new approaches in specialized dental treatments are becoming increasingly utilized for animals in need.

Veterinary dentists are able to offer their patients more than just routine cleanings and pulling teeth. Specialized dentistry programs have created opportunities for veterinarians to become trained in advanced care and dental technology, much like what is available for human dental needs. 

When training is completed, veterinary dental specialists are certified to offer the following types of professional services:

Specialized Veterinary Dentistry: Periodontics

Training focuses on treating periodontal disease, the most common clinical dental condition found when examining household pets such as cats and dogs.
Specialists are trained to complete the following:

  • Oral examination
  • Dental cleaning
  • Dental scaling and polishing
  • Dental radiograph, reading, and completion of diagnosis
  • Gum surgery
  • Root planing/curettage
  • Advanced periodontal surgeries, including bone regeneration procedures.

Specialized Veterinary Dentistry: Endodontics

Specialists are trained to provide treatment therapies that involve the tooth, which includes the pulp of the tooth, its nerves, and blood vessels.
Endodontic treatments may involve:

  • Dental issues, including:
    • Worn or abraded teeth
    • Abscesses
    • Fractured teeth
    • Loose and lost teeth
  • Therapeutic procedures, involving:
    • Standard root canal
    • Surgical root canal
    • Direct pulp capping
    • Indirect pulp capping
    • Apexification.

Specialized Veterinary Dentistry: Orthodontics

This type of training provides therapies that focus on correcting dental and skeletal malocclusions.

Completed through the use of surgery and orthodontic appliances, specialists are trained to identify and evaluate the following:

  • Causes of misaligned teeth
  • Facial symmetry repair
  • Classes of occlusion
  • Angle of temporomandibular joint.

Specialists will be able to complete therapeutic procedures, such as:

  • Correcting dental malformation through the placement of braces
  • Correcting impeded secondary tooth growth by removing retained primary teeth
  • Establishing a functional bite through therapeutic procedures
  • Interceptive orthodontics.

Specialized Veterinary Dentistry: Prosthodontics

Training provides the specialist with the ability to perform therapeutic procedures using advanced methods of reconstruction and implants.
Treatments involve the use of prosthodontics to strengthen damaged teeth, helping the animal:

  • Retain teeth that have been fractured or broken
  • Reduce the chance for fractures or breakage on teeth with excessive wear
  • Eliminate or reduce the pain caused by damaged teeth with exposed nerves and pulp
  • Restore the function of missing teeth through the use of implants.

Specialized Veterinary Dentistry: Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology

Training provides the specialist with the understanding of how to develop and utilize radiographic studies and dental charting. This area of expertise allows the use of advanced imaging information, which can determine, for example, the best steps to take for treating animals with maxillofacial trauma.

Specialized Veterinary Dentistry: Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Often used to determine the proper steps for treating animals with facial trauma, this therapy focuses on procedures for working with animals that have severe needs arising from: 

  • Palate defects
  • Tooth loss
  • Oral tumors
  • Jaw fractures
  • Jaw reconstruction needs.

While general veterinarians commonly provide routine dental care services in-house, when animals require specialized services, the client may be referred to a dental specialist at another office. Additional training for veterinarians and vet techs may ensure those clients stay with your practice.

Contact your Covetrus representative for additional information on dental care services at: 855.724.3461.

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