Specialized Dental Surgery

Specialised Dental Surgery ImageI graduated from Massey University in 1996. I worked in mixed practice in Southland for two years then moved to the United Kingdom where I concentrated on working with companion animals. In 2008 I returned to New Zealand and settled in Christchurch where I now live with my husband, three children, chickens, rabbits and guinea-pig.

Over the last few years I have developed a passion for dentistry in companion animals and I have been studying since 2014 to sit my Australian College Exams in Small Animal Dental and Oral Surgery next year. This involves completing a number of workshops and practical training as well as reading textbooks and journals on up to date surgery techniques and medical treatments.

I am currently able to offer the following services:

Assessment of malocclusions and problems with the teeth in puppies and kittens.

Sometimes when the deciduous teeth erupt they can do so in the wrong position at times interlocking in such a way that they prevent the jaws growing to the normal length. Early detection and removal of these teeth can in some animals prevent severe malocclusions problems occurring when the animal matures.

 

Radiography for teeth which have problems as well as full mouth radiographs in dogs and cats.

A set charge for a full set of radiographs means that you can be assured all the problems with the teeth can be accurately diagnosed. Cats in particular can often have resorption lesions in which can only be diagnosed properly with radiographs.

 

Treat fractured teeth with a vital pulpotomy.   

If a tooth has been fractured with the last 48 hours and the pulp has been exposed then it is sometimes possible to save the tooth by doing a procedure called a vital pulpotomy. This involves physically removing the affected pulp then sealing it with composite materials (similar to a human filling).

 

Tooth Restoration

If a tooth has an enamel defect or has been chipped but only the dentine has been exposed, it can still be very sensitive for the animal. With radiographs we can assess this and if necessary place a sealant and composite over the area until the tooth has had time to react itself and adapt to reduce the pain.

 

Crown extensions or incline planes for canine teeth which are positioned incorrectly.

This is one treatment that can be done for medially displaced lower canine teeth which cause trauma to the upper palate or maxillary canines.

 

Crown reductions

This is another technique which can be used for lower canines which are positioned incorrectly. The teeth can be physically shortened and a restoration replaced to stop trauma to the surrounding tissues.

 

Removal of deciduous teeth (normally retained upper or lower canines) in the cat and dog.

In most cases the deciduous tooth will have fallen out by the time the permanent tooth erupts. If the two can be seen together then the deciduous root is retained. The roots of the deciduous teeth can be long and fragile. By radiographing the tooth root and using good technique the deciduous tooth can be removed ensuring there is no damage to the permanent tooth and that fractured root fragments are not left behind. These root fragments if not removed by the surgeon can act as a nidus for infection.

 

Good surgical technique in removal of canines and molar teeth which are notoriously difficult to remove. We also have the equipment to stimulate bone growth in the root sockets if needed to help maintain jaw strength and function.

 

Repair mandibular (lower jaw) and Maxillary fractures with the most up to date techniques.

This involves using wire around the teeth and a composite material to act as a splint in the mouth. It ensures the occlusion of the teeth functional once the splint is removed and is more non invasive than many techniques currently being used.

 

Removal of hyperplastic gingiva.

Removal of oral masses.

 Up to date advice on dental home care products and treatments that are available.

 

Within the next 8 months I will also have the equipment and ability to perform root canals. This technique is very similar to what is done in humans and involves removing diseased or necrotic pulp, cleaning the cavity and then filling it. This is mostly done on canines and carnassial teeth so they do not need to be removed. The canine teeth in particular are involved in the structure of the jaw and are used by the animal in eating and playing. Sometimes when these teeth are removed it can cause problems such as lip fold dermatitis due to sucking in of the lip where the tooth has been removed. The tongue can also hang to the side of the mouth.