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Dental Treatment

Learn more about dental treatment at South Devon Vets

Dentals with a Difference

At South Devon Veterinary Hospital we pride ourselves on providing the highest standard of care, and our dental treatment is no exception. We have a dedicated dental suite fully equipped with high end anaesthetic monitoring equipment and a state of the art digital x-ray system. Why not have a look around on our virtual tour.

Full Dental Examination

All dental treatment is performed under a general anaesthetic to allow a full examination of the mouth. All teeth are counted, probed and evaluated using a chart before any dental work is under taken.

Scaling and Polishing

Before we do any surgery we make sure to get the mouth as clean as possible. Calculus is carefully scaled away and the teeth are polished with a specialist toothpaste.

Dental x-ray- Why is it so important?

Although dental x-ray has long been used in human dentistry it is a relatively new addition to the veterinary world and not yet common among first opinion practices. Being able to take x-rays is revolutionary to the way we perform a dental. A large proportion of dental disease happens below the gum line so without the benefit of dental x-rays it’s impossible to see exactly what’s going on.

Externally this tooth appeared intact (far left) but a large cavity was revealed on x-ray examination

Cat dentistry- The importance of x-ray

At South Devon Veterinary Hospital all cats receive a full set of dental x-rays as standard. Dental x-ray is especially important in feline dentistry due to  ‘feline resorptive lesions’ (FRLs). This is a very common condition in cats and results in part of the tooth being reabsorbed by the body causing inflammation and pain. The majority of lesions start on or below the gum line and can only be seen on x-ray . Diseased teeth need to be removed to prevent further discomfort. Take a look at the icatcare website for more information on feline dental disease.

Feline Resorptive Lesions (FRLs)- Tooth second from the left one root has been completely reabsorbed. Far right remnants of a completely reabsorbed tooth.

Dog dentistry- The importance of x-ray

We assess all damaged or diseased teeth in dogs using dental x-ray. Commonly dogs suffer from broken and chipped teeth which can result in pain and abscess formation if left untreated. With dental radiography we are able to see whether the sensitive core of the tooth (pulp cavity) is likely to be exposed and make an informed decision as to whether the tooth needs removing. We are also able to offer dentistry referrals and root canal treatment based at the practice.

Fractured canine tooth (far right) without exposure of the pulp cavity.

X-rays after Extraction

Where teeth have to be extracted will will always take post-extraction x-rays. This ensures that no fragments of the tooth remain. This is vital to the ongoing health of your pet’s teeth as leaving part of the root behind can result in swelling and pain and the need for repeat dental treatment.

Fragments of root before removal not visible above the gum line

How do I know if my pet needs dental treatment?

A huge number of pets are walking around with significant dental disease which may be causing them pain or discomfort. By the time an animal stops eating dental disease is normally very severe as many animals will continue to eat despite the discomfort. A better indicator is breath- if your pet has terrible bad breath it may suggest a problem. If you are in any doubt contact a member of our team to discuss your pet’s dental health. Dental clinics aren’t just for bad teeth! We would encourage all our clients to come along to get practical advice on teeth brushing and dental care so that you can maintain those shiny white teeth for longer!