Learn more about what to expect when working with Veterinary Dental Clinic of Durham.
What kind of dental services do you provide?
- Pediatric Dentistry including bite evaluations and extraction of retained or fractured primary teeth
- Periodontics including periodontal surgery and guided tissue regeneration
- Endodontics including root canal therapy of mature teeth and crown reduction/vital pulp therapy of teeth causing trauma
- Exodontics including full-mouth extractions for chronic ulcerative paradental disease (CUPS) and feline stomatitis
- Oral Surgery including removal of oral tumors and surgical treatment of dental cysts
- Orthodontics including treatment of base-narrow mandibular canine teeth
- Mandibular Fracture repair using inter-dental wiring and intra-oral splinting
How do I know if my pet's mouth is painful?
This is the most common question owners ask. Since animals cannot tell us if they hurt, we must try to equate dental problems in pets with similar dental problems in humans. For example, a person with an abscessed tooth may tell you it hurts, but not enough for them to stop eating or going on with normal life. For the most part, this is the case with animals that have diseased teeth and/or gums. Owners rarely report a loss of appetite or lethargy when their pet has dental disease. After the pet’s teeth have been treated, however, we often have owners report an increase in play/fetch activity with chew or tug toys, indicating that there had been some level of discomfort.
Why are dental radiographs always needed?
Dental x-rays help us evaluate the entire tooth structure and surrounding bone.
Since oral disease does not stop at the gumline, intraoral radiographs of the root structure and surrounding bone are imperative to diagnose disease and develop a treatment plan for oral disease in pets. Without the use of dental radiographs, we are prevented from seeing two-thirds of the tooth structure. There are many indications for dental radiographs including the following: red or swollen gums, bleeding gums, broken teeth, missing teeth, resorptive lesions, loose teeth, abnormal periodontal pocket depth around teeth, worn teeth, and discolored teeth.
Do I need a referral from my family veterinarian?
Although most patients are referred directly by their family veterinarian; it is not required. Your family veterinarian plays a critical role in your pet’s overall health. The staff at Westside will work with you to ensure that all the necessary information is received from your family veterinarian prior to your appointment time. We also have a strong commitment to communicating all examination findings and treatments to your regular veterinarian the same day of the visit.
What type of pre-operative screening is needed prior to my appointment?
For all patients, a recent veterinary examination, full chemistry panel, complete blood count, and urinalysis are needed. For cats older than eight years of age, a thyroid level is also needed. Also, patients at risk for hypertension should have blood pressure measurements obtained. If patients have had a history of unexplained weight loss, then chest radiographs and abdominal ultrasound may be recommended before anesthesia.
Will my pet need to stay overnight?
No. We send all patients home the same day of the procedure. You will be given a specific discharge time to review written home-care instructions, take-home medications and view digital images and radiographs from the procedure.
How much will it cost?
The cost is determined by the time that it takes Dr. Hoover and his staff to complete the procedure. In all cases, a written treatment plan and estimate will be prepared during the initial consultation. It is critical to understand that a final estimate cannot be given until completing the oral examination and review of the dental radiographs. After a review of the medical record and/or discussion with your family veterinarian, Dr. Hoover, and his staff are usually able to give general cost estimates by phone before the consultation.