Pet Dental Care for Healthier Companions

Your pet’s dental health is an extremely important part of their overall well-being. Not only is dental disease (or periodontal disease) the number one disease affecting both cats and dogs, there are also a number of other oral conditions that can negatively affect your pet’s health. At Creekside Animal Clinic in Norton, dental health is one of the first things we’ll address when you bring a new pet to see us—whether a puppy, kitten, or your new adult pet. Catching dental conditions early (or, ideally, preventing them altogether) is the best method of pet dental care.

Veterinarian performing a dental exam: Pet Dental Care in Norton
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“I can’t give Dr. Messner, and the employees who work here, enough praise! Having had a terrible experience with a different vet clinic, my faith in veterinarians had diminished. That was until I came upon Creekside and its wonderful staff. My faith has been restored, and I know my fur babies are receiving the absolute best care when we visit Dr. Messner. She is the best veterinarian, and Creekside is hands-down the best animal clinic around!”

- Kelly Y.

“Will never take our animals anywhere else. Great doctors and staff. I know that when I walk through those doors that my pets are in the most capable and very caring hands. Special thanks to Dr. Cummings. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your compassion and excellent care you always provide to our babies.”

- Sue S.

“I always feel like my Mastiffs and French Bulldogs are in the best hands when Dr. Messner and her crew take care of them!”

- Tina C.

“All our foster dogs have gone to Creekside. The entire staff is friendly and answer all my questions. I would highly recommend Creekside to anyone looking for a place to take their pets.”

- Julie S.

“I can not thank you all enough (especially Carol) for the kindness while having to put down my cat Walter. It wasn't easy for me but your kindness and true compassion made it easier. What a blessing you are to the animal world.”

- Heidi P.

“Very pleased with everyone here, we are newer clients and our dog had what we thought was an injured shoulder on a Saturday, they quickly got us an appointment and were very understanding when she turned out to be fine, just a drama queen. Sorry she's a big faker but I appreciated having my mind eased after numerous cries from her that morning.”

- Jill R.

“The staff and doctor treat you like family. They always take the time to listen to your concerns. They are very caring and know you and your pet by name.”

- Jennifer G.

“This wonderful vet took my baby in right away when his foot was gushing blood and i was a mess! They fixed him up with a smile. This will be our permanent vet from now on. They are very calm and very sweet here! So impressed with Creekside! Not too mention the staff are very nice and the building is very clean! So impressed with everything here!”

- Lizzie H.

Throughout their lives, your pet requires regular professional dental care, just like you do. Teeth cleaning with our specially trained staff effectively fights the progression of periodontal disease. Professional dental procedures can even reverse some of the damage done. Our dental cleanings include:

  • Thorough oral examination
  • Digital dental X-rays to assess the health of roots below the gum line
  • Dental charting
  • Ultrasonic scaling of each tooth to remove the tartar
  • Polishing of each tooth to slow tartar buildup
  • Periodontal pocket treatment

If your pet requires extraction of damaged or broken teeth, we can perform the oral surgery at the same time as their cleaning, which saves them (and you) another visit.

Dental procedures require anesthesia. There is no other way to give your pet a thorough, effective teeth cleaning. Anesthesia does carry some small level of risk, but we minimize this with several precautions. These include pre-anesthetic blood work, an IV catheter supplying fluids, patient warming, and extensive monitoring. We use the same precautions for dentals as we use for every surgery.

At Creekside Animal Clinic, an oral exam is a part of every puppy’s and kitten’s first visit with us. Puppies and kittens can sometimes develop malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth, as they grow. Often, retainment of baby teeth coupled with rapid growth and eruption of adult teeth are what contribute to malocclusion. If not addressed early enough, it could lead to life-long problems.

Common issues associated with malocclusion include:

  • Jaw injuries
  • Periodontal disease, which causes tooth loss
  • Gum and mouth injuries from tooth contact with the roof or floor of the mouth
  • Uneven wear on the teeth
  • Fractures

We can attempt to adjust your puppy’s or kitten’s teeth or jaw while they are still growing with extractions of retained baby teeth to ensure the jaw has the opportunity to form properly. However, once their jaws “set” (all their adult teeth come in), we will have to resort to one of the following treatment options. These are also useful in treating several other dental conditions. 

  • Vital Pulp Therapy. VPT involves a crown reduction of your pet’s tooth/teeth to the same height as the adjacent or opposite tooth/teeth. Crown reduction reveals the sensitive pulp of the tooth, which we quickly fill in with medicament and filling material. Then, we place a layer of the composite to act as a seal that prevents bacteria from reaching the previously exposed pulp.
  • Extraction (surgical tooth removal). If no other options are possible, extractions of certain teeth will be necessary to create open spaces for teeth to form a normal occlusion (bite).
  • Composite Repair. Composite refers to a certain type of material that is placed around the affected tooth/teeth and hardens rapidly. We shape the composite in such a way that it will slowly correct the misaligned teeth. The composite will remain for at least a few months after complete correction to prevent the affected tooth/teeth from moving back to their original positions.

Digital dental X-rays are essential a few months after these procedures, especially after VPT, to check that the teeth are healthy and that the pulp remains “alive.” Dead pulp requires surgical extraction of the tooth.

Always Working with You

Our team’s main aim is to prevent any dental problems from happening with consistent pet dental care that begins at the earliest stages of your pet’s life. If problems do develop, we will have an in-depth discussion with you about your pet’s options and decide what the best course of action is together.

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