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Dr. Schillig
Dr. Schillig, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 640
Experience:  Dr. Schillig has been practicing veterinary medicine for over 10 years.
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My dog has gingival hyperplasia. I have one vet that wants

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My dog has gingival hyperplasia. I have one vet that wants to do a laser treatment and another vet that says laser treatments can be dangerous because it heats the tissues surrounding the teeth and if the pulp cavity becomes too hot, it can severly damage the tooth or even cause the tooth to die. What is the general opinion regarding laser treatment for gingival hyperplasia?



There are pluses and minuses to both options.


Lasers work such that if the correct distance is observed, they avoid overheating the tissues. In the mouth, though, it becomes very difficult to completely control the angle of the laser and where it heats tissues. If mistakes are made (and they are easy to make) damage that is irreversible can be done.


On the other hand, using a scalpel blade and removing the tissue leads to significant bleeding. This bleeding stops, but dogs tend to be sore for a couple of days. INfection is also a concern if the mouth is not kept clean.


You will hear both of these arguments, depending on who you ask.

Personally, I prefer to use a scalpel blade and avoid the laser in this situation. I treat my patients aggressively with pain medications and control infection with clean procedures and antibiotic coverage.


I hope this helps!

As always, if you have further questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to ask them using the "reply" function.

Thank you,

Dr. Schillig

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I questioned the Vet who does the laser directly about this and he said that they hold a wet gauze between the area so there is less chance of the laser heating up the area. Also, he said they have had the laser for 8 months and have done quite a few of these procedures.


In your opinion is 8 months a good amount of time to feel comfortable with this procedure?

The answer to that question depends on how many of these are done.

In my practice, we have only done two gingivectomies in the last 2 years. So, if that is the number, then, no, it isn't long enough. If, however, they are doing one a month, then yes, that does help.


My concern even with the wet gauze plan is that the proximity of the gums to the tooth makes it difficult to get that gauze in there and protect the tooth.


I think that the laser procedure can probably be done with a low risk of problems.


If it were my dog, however, I would prefer to have it done with a scalpel.


Good luck,

Dr. Schillig

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