Dental Feature: Dental Prophylaxis, Flap Surgery and Surgical Gingivectomy

Picture of Dog  

Breed: Golden Retriever

Condition:
Periodontal Disease

Fresh breath is critical for service dogs. This seven-year-old therapy dog had been visiting hospital patients, but his bad breath was affecting their willingness to get close to him. His owners tried home care, but he had already developed periodontal disease that required professional treatment.

After a complete oral examination, the patient was diagnosed with stage three periodontal disease as well as gingival enlargement caused by his blood pressure medications. He had developed a 10 mm periodontal pocket on his lower right canine. Pockets deeper than 6 mm are indicative of a severe local infection and cannot be adequately cleaned without direct root visualization.

Mandibular right canine with a 10 mm periodontal pocket
Mandibular right canine with a 10 mm periodontal pocket
Upper right fourth premolar with significant calculus and gingivitis
Upper right fourth premolar with significant calculus and gingivitis

The patient was put under general anesthesia for complete dental prophylaxis. Flap surgery was performed to expose the subgingival calculus and clean below the gum line. The dental specialist also made an incision in the gingiva to remove the excess gum tissue and expose the bone and root of the affected areas to allow for more effective scaling and root planing. The surgical site was then closed and allowed to heal.

Periodontal flap
Periodontal flap
Upper right fourth premolar post-cleaning
Upper right fourth premolar post-cleaning
Closure of surgical site
Closure of surgical site

The patient had a complete recovery and was back to lifting the spirits of hospital patients in just one week. His breath was fresh and his patients were happy to see him.

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