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Pet Dental Care in Rockledge, FL

Dental Case Study: Suzie 5yr old female terrier mix.

Suzie is a spunky little terrier mix that was brought into Schroeck Veterinary Care for an overall health checkup.  Upon examination, it was noted that Suzie had a significant amount of tartar and calculus on her teeth and very bad breath!  We recommended that Suzie have a complete dental prophylaxis for her teeth to be cleaned and assessed.

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Here is the initial picture of Suzie’s teeth prior to cleaning.  Immediately you will notice the brown/tan thick material covering some of Suzie’s teeth.  This brown material is called calculus, which develops when plaque mineralizes.  Plaque formation occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce a biofilm that adheres to the surface of the tooth.  Calculus cannot be removed except by mechanical action using a high-speed dental unit (Perrone, 2013. P.107).

Our Dental Care for Dogs is State of the Art!

At Schroeck Veterinary Care we have a state of the art high-speed dental unit.  With this machine we are able to remove all plaque and calculus and polish teeth until they are pristine.  Once the teeth are all clean we inspect each tooth for abnormalities.  In this case with Suzie, we found a small fracture at the gumline. Can you find it?

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The yellow circle identifies a small fracture in what is called the buccal surface of the mandibular molar.  In Suzie’s initial picture prior to dental cleaning, this fracture was unnoticeable.  More often than not, when pets are anesthetized for dental procedures, we find various dental abnormalities that we can’t easily identify during a physical exam.

Dental Radiology is essential for identifying oral pathology that cannot be seen by the naked eye.  This picture represents a radiographic image of Suzie’s fractured mandibular molar.  The red arrows point to two halo like lesions at the tip of each root of her mandibular molar.  Radiographically, these halos are known as Periapical Lucencies.   These form when bacteria gain entry into the tooth pulp canal and travel down the root tip to the alveolar bone.  The halos represent the destruction of healthy bone.  This can result in severe dental pain and abscessation.  At Schroeck Veterinary Care dental radiographs are done on every patient that undergoes a dental prophylaxis.

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Treatment for Suzie’s fractured and abscessed tooth was removal.  This tooth was surgically extracted to remove the infection in the mandibular bone and the gumline was surgically closed (red arrow showing sutures).                      

Suzie’s case is a wonderful example of why pets need annual dental prophylactic care.  Suzie’s case of bad breath ended up being so much more.  At Schroeck Veterinary Care we recommend yearly dental exams to ensure healthy teeth and happy pain-free pet smiles.


Perrone,J. (2013). Small Animal Dental Procedures for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Ames, IA.

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