Pet Dentistry

Our veterinarians continue to evolve our dental standards through regular discussions with veterinary dentists to ensure we remain at the forefront of veterinary dental practices. We understand how important your pet is to your family, so we work hard to offer the best services possible to keep your pet healthy. Learn more about our pet dentistry services below.

a vet performing dental procedures on a dog

Comprehensive Pet Dentistry

Dental problems can cause bad breath in pets and make chewing painful. This can lead to weight loss, bone infection, tooth loss, and nutritional imbalances. Dental pain can also cause behavioral problems, including aversion to being touched on the face or head, growling, hissing, hiding, grouchiness, or sometimes just loss of energy.

Most often, the underlying bone and tooth roots are healthy, requiring only the removal of tartar and bacteria from teeth and below the gum line. Most tartar buildup occurs where you can’t see it: next to the tongue and at the far back margins of the mouth. At Alpine Animal Clinic, we utilize only gentle modern ultrasonic cleaning techniques to thoroughly clean all the way around every tooth before polishing the enamel to minimize further tartar buildup and applying protective tooth spray.

There are times, though, when the external appearance of the tooth is healthy, but digital dental X-rays expose hidden tooth root infections and abscessation. This loss of integrity and infection causes pain, bone loss, and foul odor. In those cases of infection or loss of integrity, we carefully remove the diseased tooth, flush away the pocket of infection, and then suture the site closed. Taking the additional step of suturing the site closed reduces post-op pain and facilitates rapid healing and recovery. Your Alpine veterinarian will also prescribe pain control and antibiotics, giving your loved one the best recovery possible.

a dog getting X-Ray

Alpine Animal Clinic uses the most modern ultrasonic technology to restore your pet’s teeth gently. Other older, commonly used grinding methods can burn or grind off the enamel, leading to tooth loss, bone loss, continued pain, and the need for additional vet dental treatments in the future. In addition to examining your pet’s teeth, we use digital dental X-rays to help us diagnose problems and treat dental disease and infection, making your pet more comfortable and healthy.

Digital dental X-rays quickly produce very high-quality images to accurately diagnose diseased teeth, abscessed roots, and underlying bone problems.

Digital dental X-rays are essential to distinguishing a healthy tooth from a diseased tooth. At Alpine Animal Clinic, we feel so strongly that dental X-rays are necessary that we do not charge extra for your pet’s digital X-rays. When needed, we include dental X-rays at no cost in your pet’s dental care package.

What is the difference with modern dental equipment?

The image on the right shows a dog’s tooth root abscess that was not evident without an x-ray. This pet appeared to have only mild tartar and exhibited no sign of pain. His owner noticed only foul “dog breath.” X-rays taken during cleaning led to the discovery of this root tip abscess (see darkened circular areas at the bottom right of the image at the root tips).

Upon the tooth’s extraction, a large pocket of infection was flushed away before the site was sutured closed. Days later, the owner reported that the dog was “much more energetic than he’s been in a long time! I didn’t realize he had been painful.”

digital dental X-Ray

What is included in the dental procedure at Alpine Animal Clinic?

  • Exam before the procedure by a licensed veterinarian
  • I.V. catheter for medications, fluids, and emergency access
  • Sedation, pain control, and anesthesia induction medications prescribed by a licensed veterinarian
  • Anesthesia with only modern, safe inhalant anesthesia (Sevoflurane or Isoflurane) administered by a licensed veterinarian
  • Complete anesthesia monitoring with continuous EKG, blood pressure, pulse-oximetry, and body temperature
  • Safe, continuous patient warming system by Bair Hugger
  • Complete oral exam to check for tumors, lesions, and other signs of disease of the oropharynx, soft palate, hard palate, tongue, cheeks and lips
  • Tartar removal all the way around each tooth and in between, using gentle hand-scaling methods
  • Gentle, modern Ultrasonic Scaling with auto-continuous water cooling to gently clean teeth and under the gumline, removing bacteria, tartar, and staining. Ultrasonic Scaling works without harming enamel or underlying bone.
  • Digital dental x-rays whenever needed and printed copies available for your records
  • Enamel polishing to smooth microscopic imperfections, reducing future buildup and the need for future dental cleaning
  • Injectable pain control for comfortable recovery from anesthesia and procedure
  • Nail trim, ear cleaning, and sanitary grooming around the head