Dentistry & Oral Surgery
Good dental care plays a crucial role in the quality of your pet's life.
See below to learn about the specialized dental services we offer at Flower Mound Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center.
Meet Our Team
Do you have questions about what to expect?
Click below to see some of our more frequently asked questions.
Periodontal disease is nearly universal in dogs and cats, with 80% of dogs and cats being affected by the age of 3 years old. We offer advanced treatment options for your pet's strategic teeth and comprehensive dental care including full mouth extractions if needed.
Oral neoplasia has been reported to account for 6% to 7% of all canine cancer and 3% of all feline cancers. We perform incisional and excisional biopsies and work with the best veterinary oral pathologist to help diagnose and treat your pet's oral cancer. A few of the other oral surgeries we perform include cleft palate surgery, soft tissue trauma repair, salivary surgery, and cheiloplasty.
Our pets do not need a perfect occlusion, but they do deserve one that is healthy and comfortable. Malocclusions can cause both soft tissue trauma as well as significant damage to teeth. Our veterinarians will consult on any occlusion problems your pet may be experiencing and can help guide you in the most appropriate treatment for their condition. We offer several options for the treatment of malocclusion, including interceptive orthodontics (selective extraction of teeth that may be causing problems), crown reduction with vital pulp therapy, and orthodontic movement of teeth.
Jaw Fracture Repair
A fractured jaw is a serious problem and needs to be treated with skill and expertise. Some of the challenges with repairing a fractured jaw include avoiding damage to the remaining teeth, preserving the function and comfort of the occlusion (the bite), and managing polytrauma associated with the injury. Our veterinarians have specialized equipment and extensive experience with both maxillary and mandibular fracture repair.
When the pulp (blood supply and nerve) of a tooth is exposed by a fracture, the tooth will become infected and die. Or, a concussive force to a tooth can sever the blood supply of the tooth resulting in a dead tooth; a dead (or non-vital tooth) is at high risk for infection or cyst formation. To prevent potential discomfort and inflammation, these teeth need to be either extracted or treated with root canal therapy. Root canal therapy involves cleaning, shaping, disinfecting, and filling the inside of a dead or fractured tooth, then restoring the fracture site with a tooth-colored composite. Our Doctors have the extensive training and specialized equipment to properly perform endodontic therapy, including both standard and surgical root canal therapy as well as vital pulp therapy.
Puppies and kittens erupt their deciduous (baby) teeth during their first few weeks of life. One of the best things you can do to keep your pet's mouth healthy is to train your pet to accept tooth brushing from an early age. Occasionally, puppies and kittens will develop dental problems like a malocclusion or persistent deciduous teeth (baby teeth that do not fall out when they should). This can be delicate work in a small, rapidly developing mouth, and our doctors have the experience and training to give your pet's teeth the best start possible.
Our Doctors may recommend a crown following root canal therapy to protect the tooth from further damage. The creation and application of a titanium crown requires two anesthetic events. These procedures are often indicated for working dogs and occasionally, a pet with a tendency to chew on inappropriate (hard) toys and items. Our Doctors are happy to discuss this option and help determine if a crown is necessary or recommended for your pet.
Prior to your appt, we will collect information regarding your pet and your veterinarian. Our goal is to receive your pet’s updated medical information including blood work, chest x-rays, dental x-rays, and any other pertinent information. If your pet is seeing a specialist for a complicated medical issue, please let us know so we can obtain those records as well. It is our preference that prior to your appt, our technician and our doctor review your pet’s chart to become familiar with any existing medical condition and to review any specific diagnostics relating to oral surgery. We will make multiple requests for these records from your veterinarian prior to your appt.
The day of the appt, our technician will obtain a medical history on your pet that will help us make sure we have all the information that we need. During the history, we will ask several questions so that we have a thorough understanding of your pet’s health. After the technician and the veterinarian have had a chance to review this information, our veterinarian will perform an oral exam and thoracic auscultation. Then they will discuss their findings, discuss treatment options, and answer your questions.
One of the big anxieties many pet owner’s face is the cost associated with treatment. Our goal is to give you the best estimation that we can following an awake oral exam. We cannot fully evaluate your pet’s mouth until they are under anesthesia, dental radiographs are performed, and the doctor has assessed and probed all the teeth; this is performed the day of surgery. During the final part of the consultation, the technician will present you with various treatment options based on your discussion with the veterinarian. For example, if a canine tooth (fang tooth) is broken and the tooth is dead, you may have the option for a tooth extraction or root canal. Once we understand your preference, we can provide a treatment plan that includes that therapy, along with the specific medications your pet needs. However, we cannot finalize the recommendations until the day of surgery. For this reason, we prefer to meet you, and your pet, and discuss your options prior to the day of surgery.
If the primary pet caretaker is unable to attend the consultation, please the information below with the person who will be bringing your pet to the appt.
Questions for the primary caretaker:
- What medications is your pet currently taking? (Even if we have your pet’s medical records, we need to verify exactly what medications they are receiving.)
- Does your pet have any chronic health conditions?
- Has your pet had any recent blood work or radiographs performed?
- How is your pet’s appetite? (If it is low, what % of normal? Are they eating 50% of their normal kibble?)
- To your knowledge, as your pet’s weight changed?
- Does your pet have any concerning new (or old) symptoms that we should be aware of?
The Day of Surgery
Today is your pet’s big day! You can review the photos on our website to see where your pet will receive care on the big day.
In general, we prefer to admit patient’s between 7:30-8 am in the morning. You will receive a call when your pet is pre-medicated for surgery so that you know, within an hour or so, you will receive a mid-procedure call with an update on the findings from the oral exam and imaging (x-rays +/- CBCT). Determining the line-up for surgery is based on patient health. In general, any patients with cardiac disease will be earlier in the surgery line-up so that we have an extended opportunity to monitor them post-op. Some pet’s need to go sooner or later depending on medications they receive, the need for fluid therapy prior to the procedure, or if an emergency arrives. We often have clients driving extended distances including Oklahoma and Louisiana, and this will be taken into consideration as well. Every single patient is important to us, and their individual needs will be considered. During their time with us, they will be walked and monitored by several members of our team. After surgery, they will be released when they are ready to go home. We will do our best to give you time for them to be discharged, but ultimately, our pets determine when they are ready to go home. Most of our patients are released by 5:30pm.
If we feel your pet needs extended or overnight care, we will discuss that with you. The Dentistry and Oral Surgery Department is an outpatient service. If your pet is kept past 6pm or overnight, it will be transferred to the emergency service for an additional cost. Alternatively, we can transfer them to your local or preferred emergency clinic.
Follow Up Appointment
The majority of our patients will need to return 1-2 weeks after surgery for a follow up examination. There is no charge for this appt. One of our dental team technicians will obtain an updated weight and find out how your pet is doing since surgery. They will evaluate the mouth for healing. If they have any concerns, they will speak to one of the dental doctors who will also evaluate your pet and provide recommendations. This is the best time to discuss options for home care. The gold standard to prevent periodontal disease is to brush your pet’s teeth daily. If that is not feasible, we can discuss other options. We can also recommend appropriate chew toys. For more information on home care products and chews, we recommend visiting this website: http://vohc.org/ (Veterinary Oral Health Council).