William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

Clinical Activities and Procedures

The Dentistry & Oral Surgery Service offers the whole range of dental services for dogs and cats. As all procedures are performed under general anesthesia, all patients receive a comprehensive general medical examination prior to the dental procedure. Full-mouth dental radiographs are obtained of all new patients.

Photo: Misc Images


  • Routine treatment includes periodontal charting, supragingival scaling, subgingival periodontal debridement, and polishing.
  • Advanced periodontal treatment, such as periodontal flap surgery or guided tissue regeneration, is available if indicated.


  • Various types of root canal treatment are routinely performed for saving fractured teeth with exposed pulp, abscessed teeth, or teeth with diseased pulp


  • Animals with an abnormal bite receive an comprehensive orthodontic evaluation, which may form the basis for genetic counseling.
  • Malocclusions are only treated by orthodontic means if they cause pain and discomfort.
  • Displacement of lower canine teeth, a common problem in the dog, causes serious trauma to the hard palate. The condition can be treated successfully by installing an orthodontic bite plate, which avoids the need for tooth extraction.


  • Crown restorations and bridges can repair severely worn or fractured teeth.

Oral Surgery

  • Difficult extractions can be facilitated by utilizing surgical extraction techniques, for example the removal of part of the bone plate that overlays the tooth root, which is especially useful with large teeth such as the canines.
  • Advanced surgical techniques are used to repair accidental jaw injuries or conditions such as cleft palate. Various types of oral tumors can be removed surgically with very good functional and cosmetic results. Mandibular fractures, even in patients with multiple fractures or missing bone fragments, can be effectively stabilized and healed with the use of advanced composite splints or miniplates. Novel techniques of jaw reconstruction can now be effectively employed in selected cases.

Oral Medicine

  • Oral manifestations of systemic diseases, immune-mediated diseases and chronic oral inflammatory diseases may pose a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge.

Rabbits and rodents are welcome patients at the Dentistry & Oral Surgery Service but are received by the Companion Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine Service. Comprehensive oral examination, including dental radiographs, is routinely performed and advanced dental procedures, such as occlusal adjustments and sophisticated extraction techniques, are available.