However, "Jennie' had some special considerations for anesthesia! ​Five years ago, a routine heartworm test revealed that "Jennie" was positive for heartworm disease. "Jennie" was treated for heartworm disease and tested negative after her treatment! She has continued to test negative for heartworms every year and her 'Mom' is keeping her on once monthly, year-round heartworm prevention now.


However, heartworm disease can cause heart and lung damage that can remain, even after treatment is complete. "Jennie's" previous history of heartworm disease, as well as her advancing age, made her 'Mom' cautious of placing "Jennie" under anesthesia.

​Dr. Keating took this into account for "Jennie's" anesthesia medications and monitoring for her dental cleaning so it was as safe as it could be for "Jennie". Radiographs (x-rays) of "Jennie's" heart and lungs to evaluate her for any visible damage were discussed before her anesthesia, also. As for all of The Vet's dental cleaning patients, "Jennie" also had full bloodwork performed and evaluated the morning of her surgery, and everything looked great!​


Awake oral exam revealed that "Jennie" had a severe amount of dental calculus on her upper cheek teeth (maxillary molars), as seen in the first dental picture below.

​However, "Jennie's" first dental cleaning revealed quite a few concerns!  

Case Studies: "Jennie's" Dental Extractions

8) Dental radiographs confirmed that all tooth roots were extracted from the premolar and the molar teeth.

"Jennie" had a large amount of dental calculus on her premolars, molars and even some on her canine teeth and incisors (left). 


After scaling and polishing her teeth, they look almost normal (right)!



6) The other two premolar roots were removed easily.

C) The same extraction methods were used for the right side to extract the infected premolar. This repeat dental radiograph was taken and all of the tooth roots were confirmed extracted.

5) Then, what remains is the two rostral ("towards the nose") roots and crown segments...

This was confirmed on "Jennie's" dental radiographs (right), where a very large pocket (black oval) was seen in her jaw bone around the root of that premolar tooth. 


This means that "Jennie's" premolar tooth needs to be extracted to remove the source of the infection and relieve pain and inflammation that she is experiencing. 


The molar tooth behind the infected tooth was also very loose and needed to be extracted.



This is a photo of heartworms living inside of a heart for illustration only. This is NOT a photo from "Jennie"!

A) The calculus on the right side of the mouth is nearly a mirror image of the left side!

7) The infected molar behind the now-extracted premolar tooth is then removed in a very similar fashion. This photo shows the molar already drilled in half and the roots being loosened for extraction.

4) When the caudal root was extracted, a large amount of dead cells and bacterial debris was found in the root socket. This material was removed and the socket was flushed with a large amount of water.

D) The sutured closure looks very similar to the left-sided extraction site.


Just look how clean and healthy those teeth are!

Even though the teeth on "Jennie's" left side looked relatively normal, Dr. Keating performed a thorough oral examination, which revealed that "Jennie's" upper premolar and molar are actually severely diseased!


The blood and discharge that "Jennie's" owner was seeing at home was from a ruptured abscess from the root of her left premolar tooth. 


The photos to the right show the area near the premolar tooth roots where her tooth infection caused two holes (fistulas) to open from the infection at the tooth roots through the gums!

"Jennie" is an 8 year old Labrador Mix who came to The Vet for her first-ever dental cleaning. "Jennie's" 'Mom' had started seeing small amounts of blood coming from "Jennie's" mouth over a couple of days, but could not quite pinpoint where it was coming from at home since "Jennie" did not like her mouth touched.


Aside from the small amount of bleeding and reluctance for oral examination in general that was noted, "Jennie" had no oral swelling, obvious pain, drooling, fractured teeth, nor oral masses noted on awake exam nor at home.


Given her dental exam findings and history at home, it was most definitely time for "Jennie's" first dental cleaning!

Then, the dental cleaning and oral exam was performed on the right side of the mouth.

9) The jaw bone was drilled smooth to prevent any pain after "Jennie's" extractions today.

With her first-ever dental cleaning and three infected teeth extracted, "Jennie" is already in much less pain than before. 

At The Vet, antibiotics and pain medications are included with every dental cleaning package. By removing the diseased teeth and treating the existing infection, pain and inflammation, "Jennie" is quickly on the road to recovery!


It is important to note that "Jennie" never showed any trouble eating, drooling, lip-licking nor pawing at her face before her dental cleaning, despite three very infected and painful teeth that were even dissolving her jaw bone!


"Jennie" is a perfect example of yearly dental cleanings in pets starting at one year of age is extremely important to help prevent pain, infection, tooth loss, and much more.

1) A surgical incision was made into the gums to create a flap to expose more of the roots for ease of tooth extraction.

10) The surgical gum flap for both teeth is then sutured back in place.These specific sutures will dissolve and will not require removal.

B) Unfortunately, the same type of premolar tooth is abscessed on the right side of the mouth, also! However, the molar behind it was not infected yet. 

2) The premolar's crown (white, exposed portion of the tooth) was drilled into three sections over each of the three roots.


3) The caudal ("towards the tail") root was extracted easily, but there was quite a lot of infectious debris in the socket.

7299 West U.S. Highway 52

New Palestine, Indiana 46163

P: 317-623-5019     F: 317-623-5025

the best care for your best friend