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The role of a veterinary dentist is to work with your primary veterinarian to ensure your pet has a healthy, pain-free mouth. Using the latest technology in dentistry and pain control, veterinary dentistry provides a high standard of care in both prevention and treatment of oral diseases. 


What is a Board Certified Veterinary Dentist? 

A board certified specialist in veterinary dentistry, also known as a veterinary dentist, is a licensed veterinarian who has obtained intensive, additional training in the following areas:

  • Periodontics
  • Endodontics
  • Restorative dentistry
  • Oral surgery
  • Prosthodontics
  • Orthodontics
  • Oral Trauma
  • Working dog dentistry


In order to become board certified, veterinarians must complete a residency under the mentorship of an established veterinary dentist, gain experience in a wide number of treatments and pass a rigorous two phase board examination. 


Why Does My Pet Need A Veterinary Dentist?

Just as your own primary care physician may feel the need to refer you to the care of a specialist from time to time, your general practitioner veterinarian may feel your pet needs the additional expertise of a board certified dentist for certain conditions, such as root canal or oral surgery. In addition, board-certified veterinary dentists also often have access to specialized diagnostic or treatment equipment that can enhance the outcome of your pet's case, as well as specialized knowledge about the most appropriate pain control and medication options needed to treat your pet's dental problem.

Dental disease is the most common problem to affect dogs and cats of any age. In fact, veterinary experts estimate that up to 80% of dogs and 70% of cats will develop dental disease by the age of three. For these reasons, it is very important that your pet receives regular dental care and cleanings from your general practitioner veterinarian and, when required, more advanced care from a veterinary dental specialist (Note: Some veterinarians routinely refer all clients to a dental specialist for that aspect of a pet's health care). You can be assured that a veterinarian who refers you and your pet to a veterinary dentist or other specialist is one that is caring and committed to ensuring that your pet receives the highest standard of care for his or her problem.


What Kinds of Problems Require the Expertise of a Veterinary Dentist? 

Board certified veterinary dentists can perform all preventative veterinary dental care, such as oral examinations, dental radiographs and cleanings. They are specially trained, however, to handle more complicated problems such as oral surgery, endodontics (vital pulp therapy, root canal therapy), extractions, prosthodontic crowns, and orthodontics to treat malocclusions. Oral masses or lesions can also be examined by a veterinary dentist.


Will My Regular Veterinarian Still Be Involved? 

Your regular primary veterinarian will still supervise your pet's overall veterinary care, and will consult with the veterinary dentist regarding any pre or post treatment care. They will also receive a full examination and treatment report of any procedures performed and all recommended follow-up treatment. 


Signs That A Pet May Need Dental Care:


  • Bad breath (Halitosis)
  • Drooling or excessive salivation
  • Pawing at the teeth or mouth
  • Discoloration of the teeth
  • Visible tartar on the teeth
  • Red, inflamed, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Difficulty eating
  • Discharge from the nose
  • Swelling under the eyes
  • Weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Lethargy and loss of vitality

Our Dentistry Team

Veterinary Specialist

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