Oral and Maxillofacial surgery
Veterinary dentists are experts in treating facial trauma and their expert knowledge of how jaws come together (occlusion) is critical when repairing complex jaw fractures.
- Surgical dental extractions
- Repair of jaw fractures and palatal defects
- Repair of oronasal fistulas (an abnormal space between the mouth and the nose)
- Removal and treatment of oral tumours
- Replacement and treatment of dislocated teeth
Endodontics (Root Canal Treatment)
Endodontic disease refers to disease of the pulp (blood vessels and nerve). If the damage to the pulp is severe, the tooth may die. Pets break their teeth by chewing on hard objects or playing. Obvious signs of damage are fracture of the crown of the tooth, or tooth discolouration. An infected or dead pulp will lead to infection of the bone around the root and cause severe pain. If you have experienced endodontic pain yourself, you will know how painful it can be. Cats and dogs mask their pain. When we relieve pain associated with endodontic disease, the cat or dog shows marked improvements in quality of life. Antibiotics may offer some temporary relief, but the symptoms soon return once the antibiotics are finished. There are two options for dealing with a fractured tooth;
1. Root Canal Therapy (RCT): Damaged teeth can be saved by performing Root Canal Therapy (RCT). RCT enables your pet to retain the use of its tooth as well as maintain the anatomy and strength of the mouth. RCT has the added bonus that your pet can retain a very important tooth.
2. Extraction: For large teeth, such as canines and carnassials (large chewing teeth), extraction is a very involved surgical procedure and significantly more traumatic for your pet than RCT would be.
- Treatment of periodontal disease, tooth scaling and polishing, root cleaning, mucogingival surgery.
- Guided tissue and bone regeneration where there is bone and tissue loss present due to periodontal disease.
This is the most common disease of adult cats and dogs and it is preventable. Unfortunately, bad breath is often the only clinical sign that is detectable by the owner. For this reason, treatment often comes too late to prevent the loss of teeth. If periodontal disease is left untreated, it spreads into the deeper tissues of the jaw and bacterial toxins are absorbed into the bloodstream. These toxins can cause serious health issues by affecting the heart, liver and kidneys. Additionally, it has been shown that diabetes is a risk factor for periodontal disease. To treat periodontal disease, professional cleaning is required and dental radiographs are often needed to correctly diagnose the extent of the disease as it spreads to the tissue below the gums. Home oral hygiene can improve the periodontal health of your pet, and decrease the frequency of professional dental cleaning.
We are able to provide fillings, cast metal and tooth-coloured crowns and bridges to repair fractured or otherwise defective teeth.
Occasionally, pets have developmental problems that displace their teeth. This often causes pain and infection may result. These pets benefit from having their teeth straightened with a unique dental appliance - Yes we can do braces for pets! They are usually very well tolerated.
Orthodontic services at the AVDE OS include bite evaluation in young dogs and treatment of malocclusions by selective tooth extractions or movement of teeth using an orthodontic appliance as described above.
Dental x-rays are one of the most important diagnostic tools in veterinary dentistry. They allow examination of the internal anatomy of the tooth, the roots and the surrounding bone.
X-rays are necessary in the proper assessment of oral tumours, jaw and tooth fractures and TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) evaluation as well as giving an indication of the progress of treatments.
Dental x-rays may be taken to assess missing teeth in puppies and evaluate dental disease.
At AVDE OS, we have digital sensors that provide superior quality for examination of individual teeth or sections of the jaw, whilst minimising radiation exposure for pets and staff.
Complicated oral diseases such as oral tumours require more advanced diagnostic procedures such as x-rays, biopsy and histopathology. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computed Axial Tomography (CAT) scans may also be used.
Oral disease is often a reflection of systemic diseases. We are able to assess and treat gingivostomatitis and oral autoimmune diseases.
Zoo animals suffer many of the same conditions we see in our regular pet practice. Broken teeth, periodontal disease and painful jaws are just some of the problems we see in the zoo.
Good dental care is important in ensuring these animals receive the quality of life that they deserve.
Dr Tucker provides dental care at both the Hamilton and Auckland zoos.
If you are a new client, please download and fill in the New Client Form prior to coming to your appointment.
If you are a referring veterinarian, please use the Patient Referrral Form.