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Posted on 02-19-2014

  Oral surgery and specific dental treatments

          If problems are identified during a dental procedure, your veterinarian will decide on a specific treatment plan for your pet.  Tooth fractures and tooth root infections are often treated by removal of the affected tooth via oral surgery/extraction.  This process starts by creating a flap of gum tissue over the diseased tooth, to allow access to the entire tooth and roots for removal.  Once the tooth has been removed, the gingival flap is then sutured back down to cover the hole where the tooth once was.  This technique helps the mouth heal and prevents further trauma or infection at the extraction site.  The suture material used for oral surgery is absorbable; this means that the body will break down the suture, so your pet does not have to endure the process of taking all of those tiny stitches out- thank goodness!

(Gingival flap procedure- see above paragraph)

   Another common dental treatment is the removal of oral masses.  There are many types of masses that arise in the mouths of our pets: some of these masses are benign reactive gum tissue, while others can be serious forms of cancer.  If an oral mass is identified on dental exam, we recommend removing that mass and sending it out for tissue analysis, also known as a histopathology.  This tissue analysis will tell us what specific type of cells compose the mass, and if it requires any follow-up treatment.

(Oral mass- see above paragraph)

          In response to dental disease, some animals may experience gingival hyperplasia (excessive growth of gum tissue).   This condition furthers dental disease by creating deep pockets between the gums and the teeth, which traps tartar and breeds infection.  Treatment involves removing excess gum tissue to expose the teeth and prevent further tartar trapping.  Other specific dental disease treatments include topical antibiotic gel application for infection, and placement of synthetic bone graft material at tooth extraction sites. 

-Dr. Ashley

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