Animal Dentistry

Dentistry is an area of animal health care to which HDV has made an extraordinary commitment.  Advanced training and experience of our providers and certified staff, as well as advanced diagnostic and treatment technology, allow us to provide an exceptional level of care that ranges from routine preventive care to restoration, periodontal treatment and oral surgery.  Our emphasis is on patient comfort, safety, and optimum long term health.  As with all aspects of our practice, we advocate preventive care as it best promotes comfort and good health in the most cost effective manner.  Guaranteed, dental problems go from bad to worse, and from less expensive to more expensive.

Good dental care begins with a thorough assessment, and assessment begins with a thorough physical exam.  The second step in assessment comes when routine cleaning is necessary and involves a tooth by tooth examination and periodontal evaluation.  If concern is raised during this examination, dental radiographs are taken with our state-of-the-art digital radiology equipment that allows us to view an image in less than 10 seconds.  Since many dental problems occur beneath the gums, radiographs give us a sound basis upon which to make treatment decisions and recommendations

Once we have determined what, if any, problems need to be addressed, we discuss our treatment options with you and arrive at a treatment plan.  Our goal here is to use conservative guidelines regarding extraction, periodontal treatments, restorative treatments and oral surgery to correct problems in the most cost effective manner for long term benefit.  We would like to preserve teeth whenever possible, but with practicality and expense of treatment as serious considerations in formulating a plan. When it is time to proceed to treatment we employ the best of techniques and procedures to fulfill the plan.  With the exception of root-canals and orthodontics, we are capable of performing nearly all dental procedures necessary including major oral surgical procedures.

Once treatment is complete, we follow up with aftercare to assure comfort and address infection concerns during the healing period.  Additional measures to promote dental health and increase the time between cleanings is a topic we address both at the time of initial examination, then again after treatment.  The practicality and ability to comply with preventive care options are major concerns here, so options such as dental chews, oral rinses, and other passive measures are considered in addition to active measures such as daily brushing.

Good dental health is a very significant aspect of “quality-of-life”, and dental disease is often the final “straw” in the demise of elderly patients.  Often, the degree of discomfort that is present in our patients is not fully appreciated until we observe the dramatic improvement in attitude, playfulness and appetite after dental problems are corrected. We are pleased to show you how to observe and monitor your pet for dental health at your next exam.

 Equine dental health is critical to the general health, comfort and performance of horses under saddle with any form of hackamore/bit/bridle control.  Elements such as digestibility of feed and feed conversion, weight maintenance, and general fitness are all directly affected by a horse’s ability to chew and digest their feed ration.  Behavior problems, resistance and training failures can all be caused by dental problems.  As with small animal dentistry, we have the advanced training, experience and equipment to perform most equine dental procedures.  We have a dedicated dental operatory for haul-in care, or, if adequate facilities can be provided, we can perform routine procedures as an outcall.

If only men could love each other like dogs, the world would be paradise.

- James Douglas