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4120 Royal Pine Drive Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Proper Dental Procedure

  1. Physical exam including oral exam: Allows us to generate realistic estimates, stage disease, plan cleanings, and identify other diseases that could  complicate anesthesia and recovery.

  1. Oral Exam while UNDER anesthesia: examine entire oral cavity for
    • tumors /growths
    • tooth for mobility, fractures (when lack of plaque allows)
    • malocclusions 

  1. Chorhexidine rinse:   Surgeries are prepared with sterile prep to reduce infection. The mouth is no different.  

  1. SuPRAgingival scaling:  using
    • calculus removing forceps 
    • hand instruments
    • finally the ultrasonic device

  1. SUBginigival scaling/curettage:  using
    • subgingival ultrasonic scaler – to ROOT SCALE to completely remove plaque and calculus from the root surface
    • hand curette / scaler for proper root planning and subgingival curettage 

  1. Polishing:  Must polish to undo the damage scaling caused

  1. Sulcal lavage and Irrigation:  Gets all the plaque and diseased tissue out of the subgingival space to restore the barrier against food particles.  

  1. Fluoride:  Desensitizes and hardens the enamel. 

  1. Dental exam and diagnostics:  Just as a human hygienist charts your teeth, your pet's hygienist will do the same.  This allows us to probe each tooth individually to detect disease under the gum line. 
    • Chart every tooth.
      1. gingival margin depth
      2. note all pathology 
    • Normal sulcus depth is 0-0.5 mm in cats, 0-3 mm in dogs.  If a sulcus depth is between 3-5 mm in the dog, patient should have minimum closed root planning. 60% of ALL dogs who walk through our door have periodontal disease at this stage.
    • Dental radiographs now come into play. Consider full mouth x-rays on all dogs and cats. Must radiograph ALL teeth with pathology.   Eventually, full mouth rads will be accepted as standard of care.  May find all sorts of surprises, including crooked hooked roots, extra roots you don’t account for, retained roots from a previously performed inappropriate extraction, periodontal disease that was not evident from only charting, deciduous teeth erupting without an erupting adult tooth, cancer, abscesses, osteomyelitis, etc.

  1.   Treatment:  based upon the doctor's and hygienist's findings
    • Extraction
    • Doxirobe infusion (antibiotic gel designed for periodontal pockets)
    • Root canal therapy if client elected.

  1.  Client education:   Home care is essential. If no home care is performed, all gingival and periodontal infection is back in 2 weeks! Must consider and try daily to every other day teeth brushing, Hills NEW Healthy Advantage Oral Care, CET chews, Oravet, Greenies, Maxiguard, etc.

Veterinary Topics