As a pet owner, you do all you can to help prevent your furry pal from having to endure dental surgery. However, sometimes your pet’s oral surgery procedure is unavoidable. When your pet needs dental surgery or corrective treatment, our Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Nederland team is prepared to provide your pet with the care they need. Read about your pet’s dental surgery procedure, and develop powerful peace of mind.

Identifying hidden disease—dental X-rays for pets

If your pet needs dental surgery, your veterinarian will take full mouth dental X-rays. Digital dental X-rays allow your veterinarian to visualize each tooth’s architecture—from crown to root—as well as their supporting structures such as the periodontal ligament and surrounding bone. Dental X-rays can reveal hidden oral disease and other abnormalities, including:

  • Fractured teeth
  • Tooth resorption 
  • Bone loss
  • Jaw fracture
  • Cancer

Probing for answers—dental examination and treatment planning for pets

As before any surgery, your pet’s veterinarian carefully approaches your furry pal’s treatment plan. Meticulous planning and information gathering reduces your pet’s anesthetic time and improves their recovery. Surgical planning includes:

  • Dental X-ray review — X-rays can help your veterinarian determine each tooth extraction’s degree of difficulty and prioritize the order in which they will be performed. 
  • Dental probing — By measuring your pet’s periodontal pockets, your veterinarian decides which teeth to monitor.
  • Charting — In your pet’s dental record, your veterinarian includes each tooth’s map and notes about its condition. 
  • Staging — If your pet requires extensive oral surgery or numerous extractions, your veterinarian may perform the procedure in two or more appointments.

Feel-good medicine—dental pain management for pets

Our Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Nederland team is committed to patient comfort and safety. By preventing or reducing your pet’s pain, we ensure they have a smooth and safe anesthetic experience and recover quickly after the procedure. Each dental surgery patient receives perioperative pain management through a multistep protocol that includes:

  • Injectable premedication before anesthetic induction
  • Local anesthetics (i.e., nerve blocks)
  • Supplemental intravenous medication as needed
  • Continuous monitoring to identify pain indicators (e.g., elevated heart or respiratory rate)
  • Laser therapy to decrease local inflammation and pain
  • Prescription medication for at-home administration

Deeply rooted issues—pet dental extractions

Depending on a tooth’s location and condition, your pet’s dental extraction can range from simple to complex. After numbing an area with local anesthetic, your veterinarian may use a number of tools and techniques to loosen and remove your pet’s tooth. Although diseased and broken teeth may be freed with little effort, your veterinarian must extract or retrieve all broken roots to prevent complications.

For some tooth extractions, your veterinarian applies precise pressure levels to fatigue the ligaments holding the tooth in place. Using a dental drill, your veterinarian may section large multirooted teeth, removing them piece by piece. 

To confirm complete tooth removal, our Neighborhood Veterinary Centers at Nederland team performs postextraction X-rays at each surgical site. Only after an X-ray shows the extraction is complete will your veterinarian proceed with closure. Whenever possible, your veterinarian sutures extraction sites using absorbable suture material. 

Flapping those gums—other oral procedures for pets

Tooth extractions are not the only dental surgeries pets undergo. Our Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Nederland veterinarians also perform other oral procedures, including:

  • Gingival resection — Excessive gum tissue (i.e., gingival hyperplasia) in certain breeds (e.g., boxers, bulldogs) can trap debris and become a bacterial breeding ground. Your veterinarian uses a scalpel blade or surgical laser to remove the extra tissue and restore your pet’s natural gumline.
  • Jaw fracture repair — Your veterinarian can wire together a broken mandible (i.e., lower jaw) to ensure proper healing.
  • Mass removal and biopsy — Oral masses can be benign or malignant, therefore your veterinarian recommends biopsy for all samples. 

If your pet requires advanced oral or dental procedures, such as crowns, orthodontics (i.e., braces), cleft palate repair, or root canal, our team will refer your pet to a board-certified veterinary dentist for specialized care.

Dental surgery aftercare for pets  

To ensure your pet’s mouth heals properly with minimal pain, our Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Nederland team will provide you with specific postoperative instructions. Standard aftercare instructions include:

  • Soft food — Dry food encourages chewing, which can tear fragile tissues and sutures. Our team advises you to feed your pet only soft food (e.g., wet food, thoroughly soaked dry food) until your furry pal’s recheck. 
  • Medication — Follow the label directions for medications (e.g., pain medication, antibiotics) and continue administering them until your veterinarian advises you to stop.
  • No hard chew toys — To prevent harmful chewing, put away your pet’s hard plastic toys and bones.

Your pet will require a recheck appointment in 10 to 14 days. If your pet’s gums have healed successfully, your veterinarian will provide specific instructions for preventing future dental problems.

Many veterinary options are available in southeast Texas, but few provide our Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Nederland team’s expert services—and neighborly warmth. Our compassionate team provides your pet with exceptional care, giving you priceless peace of mind. Schedule your pet’s dental examination with our team.