As described in a recent post, dental conditions are often hidden and painful. The following posts are going to help describe conditions that pets can get as well as treatment. Many people I talk with are surprised how we can help pets with dental conditions and save teeth whenever possible.
As the gum and bone surrounding the tooth margin (periodontium) have worsening poor health, extractions are often needed. These periodontal tissues usually have generalized disease and accompanying bone loss resulting in loss of tooth support. Other times the tooth has focal disease for which therapy can be successful in saving the tooth.
Vertical bone loss is a case in which deep pockets exist with supporting bone. A standard dental cleaning procedure cannot adequately clean deeper than 5 mm. The other concern with pockets greater than 3mm is that there is gingival downgrowth commonly reestablishing active disease as soon as 2-14 days after a cleaning procedure. Home care (daily or every other day) and anesthetic dental procedures (as often as every 3 months) can delay this process if it can get into the pocket but the pocket depth often prevents it. The solution becomes to surgically reduce the soft tissue pocket or, as pictured above, utilize a bone graft and biocompatible membrane to exclude the soft tissue from a bony pocket. The membrane is the most important feature to prevent tissue downgrowth perpetuating a pocket.
Here’s a hidden pocket:
Here’s the diseased tissue in the pocket removed:
A graft and membrane are needed/were used.
Contact us to learn more about saving teeth in pets.