Common Questions

Perry Referrals Specialist Veterinary Dentistry And Oral Surgery Referrals Rachel Perry with Dog Licking

The following is a list of the most commonly asked questions here at Perry Referrals.

If you don’t see what you are looking for, then please don’t hesitate to drop us an email with your question.

What is a veterinary specialist

A Veterinary Specialist is the equivalent of a consultant in human medicine. They have completed extensive additional training in a particular field, and then passed post-graduate examinations which evaluate both knowledge and practical skills. 

Specialists must make an active contribution to their specialty, have national and international acclaim and publish widely in their field. In addition, they must re-apply for recognition every five years, demonstrating they still satisfy criteria for specialist status.

Specialising in veterinary dentistry focusses on diseases of the teeth and mouth in all species of animals and includes extensive oral surgery training. Specialist Veterinary Dentists have meticulous attention to detail and are trained to detect even the subtlest of problems that might otherwise be missed. We have accumulated many thousands of hours of radiographic and surgical training. In addition, we’re really passionate about oral and dental health.

The costs of seeing a Specialist veterinary dentistry reflect the knowledge, skills, equipment and materials required in providing the best dental service for your pet.

More information can be found here:

Why see a veterinary specialist with your pet

If you are worried about your pet’s health, your first port of call is always your regular vet. They are fully qualified to diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions. 

If there is a problem which is outside of their knowledge or expertise, they may suggest a referral to a veterinary specialist such as a veterinary dentist.

Alternatively, you may actually prefer to see a veterinary dentist if your pet has an oral or dental problem. After all, it’s all veterinary dentists do all day!

It’s also a bit like you seeing your dentist rather than your doctor if you have toothache. Your regular vet will organise a referral, which ensures all of your pet’s medical records are made available.

It is routine for vets to refer their patients onto Specialists, so please do not think that you will upset them by asking to be referred!

what services do we offer
  • Dedicated veterinary anaesthesia referral nurse. 
    Read more about Stacey
  • Meticulous oral and dental examination.
  • Dental charting and digital photography.
  • Digital dental radiography
  • Locoregional anaesthesia (“nerve blocks”)
  • Periodontal therapy
  • Surgical extractions
  • Routine cleaning (scaling, polishing and deeper cleaning under the gum)
  • Orthodontic therapy (movement of teeth)
  • Endodontic therapy (root canal therapy)
  • Prosthodontics (crowns)
  • Oral surgery (e.g. cleft palate repair)
  • Restorations (“fillings”)
  • Oral medicine
  • Jaw fracture repairs
  • Comprehensive, individual analgesic (pain-relief) plans
  • Follow up oral homecare advice and support
why does my pet need to have a general ANAESTHETIC to be treated?

Whilst we can sit still in the dentist’s chair and open-wide on command, this is not possible for animals. In order to make the procedure safe and painless, a general anaesthetic is required. 

This ensures that your pet does not experience any discomfort or pain during the procedure.

In addition, it enables us to make a thorough and detailed examination of the mouth, including probing underneath the gum to detect subtle problems and obtaining dental X-rays.

A tube is down the airway at all times, providing oxygen and anaesthetic gases.

are dental x-rays really needed?

In a word, YES. Dental X-rays provide invaluable information about the health of your pet’s teeth and surrounding jaw bone allowing an accurate diagnosis and selection of the most appropriate treatment option.

We use state-of-the art digital radiography systems which enable low doses of X-radiation, and superior quality radiographic images.

will my pet be in pain during or after the procedure?

We are dedicated to anticipating and alleviating pain for all of our patients. 

We use a combination of pain killers for optimal effect, including; morphine-like drugs, anti-inflammatory pain killers and local anaesthetic nerve blocks. 

We’ll often send you home with some pain-killing drugs for your pet, which can easily be given in food.

are antibiotics required

Surprisingly, antibiotics are rarely required for oral and dental problems, so do not be worried if you pet doesn’t receive them.

will my pet be able to eat ok if they have any teeth extracted

Many people are understandably worried if their pet needs to have teeth extracted. However, animals can eat just fine without any teeth if necessary. 

Obviously we strive to preserve teeth where possible, but in some situations an infected and/or painful tooth is far better off being extracted.

Dissolvable stitches are placed to ensure your pet heals quickly and comfortably.

how can i keep my pet’s teeth clean and healthy

The best way to keep your pet’s teeth clean is to brush them once a day with a pet toothpaste and a medium bristle toothbrush. 

Most animals will accept this if it is introduced early enough in their life, even cats!

how long will my pet stay with you?

We normally admit patients first thing in the morning, and you will usually collect them the same afternoon, or early evening.

Occasionally, after major surgical procedures it’s better if they stay with us overnight, so we can ensure they have the highest levels of care and pain relief. 

We call it the kitty/doggy Hilton. 

what is periodontal (gum) disease?

In people, periodontal disease is described as the silent killer, and the same could be argued for cats and dogs. 

The disease is silent; dogs and cats behave normally, they continue to eat and do not show any overt signs of pain. As the mouth is often closed, the disease is hidden, and bad breath is inadvertently normalised.

Dog-breath/fish-face is NOT normal, and is the first signs of the disease!

Periodontal disease is essentially an infection and is caused by an invisible build-up of plaque bacteria on the tooth surface, which leads to a defensive immune response.

Imagine this like a battle ground, taking place underneath the gum. This initially leads to inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), which is reversible by removing all plaque and tartar, and then keeping plaque under control on a daily basis. If however the disease is allowed to progress, periodontitis can occur, where there is destruction of the jaw bone holding the teeth in their sockets resulting in their loss.

In addition, and perhaps more sinisterly, the bacteria under the gum enter the bloodstream every time the animal chews. This results in a constant stream of harmful bacteria into the bloodstream.

There is mounting evidence linking periodontal disease to diseases in other areas of the body, such as kidney disease.

recent study in cats not only showed that periodontal was a risk factor for kidney disease in the cat, but also that cats with moderate to severe periodontal disease would die at a younger age than those without.

In people, there is plenty of evidence linking periodontal disease with: diabetes mellitus, stroke and heart attack, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, oral cancer, Alzheimer’s and earlier mortality. Scary!