- Calusa's own Dr. Javier Fuentes is one of South Florida's leading experts in the area of pet dentistry
- Dr. Fuentes is currently nearing the completion of his board certification, the most rigorous training achievable to a veterinary specialist
- Calusa offers a complete lineup of dental services, ranging from basic cleanings to advanced orthodontic procedures
- Our dental treatment team has at their disposal the latest equipment to ensure a safe and comfortable experience for your pet during each and every procedure
It is estimated that upwards of 80% of pets have some form of dental disease, and it is safe to assume that 100% of those pets experience periodic discomfort with their teeth, just as you and I would. Regular dental care for dogs and cats is imperative for maintaining their health year after year. Allowing dental disease to persist for a prolonged period of time can actually be life-threatening as such infections can spread throughout their bodies and infect their vital organs.
At Calusa, we have built one of Florida’s leading pet dentistry practices with the help of Dr. Javier Fuentes, a senior member of our general practice veterinary team. Dentistry is a passion for Dr. Fuentes that has culminated in him nearing completion of his board certification, the highest professional designation a veterinarian can receive in a given specialty. This rigorous training has entailed learning advanced techniques and procedures that go well beyond the offerings of the typical veterinary practice, extending into such treatments as root canals, restorations, orthodontics and oral surgery.
To assist him in his efforts to provide top-notch dental care to our clients’ pets, Calusa has invested in state-of-the-art equipment and technology. With these advanced tools, Dr. Fuentes is able to adeptly identify subtle issues that may be developing in an animal’s mouth, even below the gumline, that could one day become more urgent. His team of veterinary technicians are some of the best Calusa has to offer and provide exceptional care to pets throughout their consultations and procedures.
Basic Pet Dentistry
Scaling – Every six months your dentist likely calls you in for a cleaning; your pet is no different in their need for a periodic scaling that removes buildup from the enamel of their teeth. At Calusa, we advise a cleaning annually, depending on the patient. In addition to the cleaning procedure, your pet’s mouth and jaw will be x-rayed to “see” below the gumline and identify underlying issues that may not be readily visible during a simple examination of the mouth. Often, these radiographs can uncover issues that, if treated promptly, can spare your pet from pain and sensitivity in the future. This basic treatment, in tandem with regular at-home dental care, are the best preventative care measures a pet owner can employee to ensure a happy, healthy smile for their animal.
Advanced Treatment Options
Extractions – It is a common occurrence in dogs for teeth to reach a state where their removal is actually very beneficial to the pet’s wellbeing and health. Defects in the enamel layer, fractures, inflamed or infected pulps, and severe periodontal disease are some of the reasons that teeth should sometimes come out. Oftentimes, dental radiography can point to individual teeth that have issues developing where extraction can prevent painful issues for the animal from developing. During every dental cleaning, our patients receive full-mouth radiographs to identify these sorts of issues. If it is determined that a tooth or teeth should be extracted, we will communicate with you to determined the course of treatment that is most appropriate to the client and the pet.
Root Canal – In some situations, a tooth that one veterinarian may only be able to extract, a more experienced veterinarian can actually save through a root canal. This happens most frequently with teeth the veterinary profession deems “strategic” or particularly important to a dog or cat. If such a tooth can be salvaged, rather than extracted, it can provide great utility to the pet while also relieving pain. Calusa’s dental team can evaluate such cases and determine whether extraction or endodontic root canal is a more beneficial treatment option for a pet, based on its age, behavior, etc.
Restorative Dentistry – Restorations aim to return a tooth to normal function and appearance and to help protect the pulp. Much like in humans, dogs can benefit from receiving crowns, fillings and even full tooth restorations. These options can strengthen the underlying tooth and provide continued function to the pet. Unlike humans, however, not all teeth are good candidates for restoration as dogs apply a tremendous amount of pressure when using their mouths, in comparison to you and me. Therefore, molars and premolars, found in the back of the mouth are the predominant teeth where dental restoration is deemed both safe and appropriate for the veterinary patient.
Orthodontics – While not particularly common, braces for your pet are an option when misaligned bite presents a functional issue for a dogs ongoing health. Since dogs use their teeth for so many functions, outside of eating, is is not uncommon for misalignment to occur. Playing tug of war, nutritional anomalies, jaw trauma and even genetic disposition can all contribute to this issue in a pet’s mouth.
Implants – In certain cases where an original tooth is missing or needs to be extracted, a dental implant can be created and placed. Calusa is one of the few practices in the country to have the specialized equipment necessary for such procedures and Dr. Fuentes is one of the few veterinarians capable of performing this advanced replacement technique.