Dentistry and Oral Surgery
Comprehensive Veterinary Dentistry
Routine dental care is a critical component of your pet's overall health. While daily teeth brushing is the gold standard of preventative care we know how difficult that is to do regularly. That is why we follow the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) recommendation of annual professional dental cleanings starting at the age of 2. It is estimated that by age 3 70-80% of cats and dogs will have developed periodontal disease.
Progressing periodontal disease can lead to bad breath, bone loss, tooth discoloration, swollen gums, abscess formation, and pain. Most pets are adept at hiding pain and outward signs will not be noticed until the level of disease is very severe (pus and blood from the mouth, drooling, or dropping food). In addition dental disease can also contribute to systemic disease through the spread of bacteria in the bloodstream. The liver and kidneys are especially susceptible since one of their main functions is to filter the blood.
Yearly professional dental cleanings are one of the most effective ways to prevent oral pain, infection, and tooth loss. On top of that we offer an optional treatment called "Sanos" that is clinically proven to last for 6 months. This treatment seals the gumline and protects against the formation of plaque.
Once your pet's records have been reviewed the Doctor can provide a rough estimate of cost. It is important to understand this cost may change since it is dependent on an awake oral exam. Since the majority of the tooth is under the gumline the Doctor will not be able to give an exact cost of services until a sedated oral exam and full mouth x-rays are completed.
In cases where a significant number of teeth are affected and require extraction your pet's treatment may be "staged". This means they may need to return on a different day to complete the remaining extractions.
If the treatment plan requires going above estimate you have the option of proceeding with all recommended treatment or requesting a phone call from the Doctor before moving forward. If you are not available when we contact you, treatment within the estimate will be completed, and any further treatments over estimate will need to be rescheduled for a separate day.
What is included in your dental package?
Everything included on the services page under "what is included in the price" (IV catheter, IV fluids, personalized anesthetic protocol, hospital stay, medications, etc.)
A surgical team of two registered veterinary technicians and 1 Doctor
Full mouth digital x-rays and x-rays following any extractions
Supra- and subgingival scaling
Dental nerve blocks if needed - these are performed with a long lasting anesthetic that will provide potent pain relief for 72 hours
Individualized therapy plan
Before and after photos, dental chart, and home care recommendations
Level O - Preventative Maintenance $575
Everything included in the dental package
Level 1 - Mild Periodontal Disease $875
A few simple extractions or 1 surgical extraction (multi-root teeth requiring a gingival flap and tooth sectioning)
Level 2 - Mild to Moderate Periodontal Disease $1175
Several simple extractions or 2 surgical extractions
Level 3 - Moderate Periodontal Disease $1475
Combination of simple and surgical extractions
Level 4 - Severe Periodontal Disease $1775
Combination of simple and surgical extractions
Level 5 - Extensive Periodontal Disease (variable cost depending on treatment)
Cost will be between $2000-2600. Includes treatment and extraction of any and all teeth as needed.
Sanos - this is applied at the end of the dental cleaning to extend the benefits of the prophylaxis. It acts as a liquid bandage sealing the gumline and preventing plaque formation.
Certain disease processes may require treatment in addition to the regular dental cleaning. These include:
Dental extractions - the removal of dead or diseased teeth. Cost is dependent on the tooth affected (incisor, canine, premolar, or molar) as some require the creation of a gingival flap and closure with suture.
Bone grafting - a synthetic bioactive ceramic that is placed in areas where bone loss could lead to fracture or when extraction of a tooth could lead to bone loss in an adjacent tooth. Pricing is $200 per area.
Fillings/bonded sealants - The treatment of choice for uncomplicated tooth fractures. If the damage is caught early, a resin filling can be placed, sealing the tooth, resolving sensitivity and blocking infection. Pricing is $120 per filling
Periodontal therapy - subgingival curettage and root planing. This is the treatment of choice for periodontal pockets of 3-6mm. It encourages reattachment of the gingiva to the root preventing progression of periodontal disease. Pricing is $60 per area.
Oral biopsy - removal of abnormal tissue and submission for testing. Pricing is $250 which includes evaluation by a board certified pathologist for a definitive diagnosis.
Why does my pet need a bonded sealant?
Fractured teeth are very common in pets especially large dogs. They are broken into categories: complicated and uncomplicated.
A complicated fracture occurs when the highly sensitive nerve is exposed. When this occurs root canal therapy or extraction are the only treatment options. If the surrounding bone has been affected extraction is the only option.
Uncomplicated fractures are more superficial and the pulp is not exposed. In these cases the enamel is damaged exposing the dentin tubules. Dentin is a living structure and when it is exposed this causes pain similar to a deep cavity. The dentin tubules communicate with the pulp cavity. When this occurs the bacteria on the tooth can cause infection inside the tooth leading to death and destruction of the surrounding bone.
In addition the more roughened surface of the tooth due to the enamel defect can cause enhanced tartar accumulation.
The Importance of Dental X-ray
Dental x-rays are considered gold standard in every professional dental cleaning for a number of reasons.
Think of teeth as an iceberg. The majority of the tooth is below the surface which means most of the disease affecting teeth cannot be assessed without looking below the gumline. Without x-rays unfortunately a lot of destructive disease is not caught. Even teeth that look healthy on the surface can be hiding disease below the gumline. For this reason the full mouth should be x-rayed, not just the diseased looking teeth. The picture on the bottom right shows a normal looking canine tooth in a cat mouth. The picture on the top right shows the x-ray of the same tooth with a large lesion just below the gumline with tooth destruction that has made it's way into the highly sensitive pulp cavity. Dental abscesses, bone destruction, and tooth resorption can all cause significant infection and pain without any obvious signs on the tooth surface.
Another reason for dental x-rays is detecting retained teeth or tooth roots. If not removed, these can lead to pain, infection, and destruction of surrounding bone.