We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

What Is a Dental Nerve Block?

Have you been to the dentist and received local freezing? If so, then you have had a dental nerve block. Most dental procedures produce strong sensory stimuli to the point that it affects the amount of general anesthetic required and a painful recovery. Dental nerve blocks interrupt these sensory stimuli locally and should be a component of overall pain management. Dental nerve blocks can decrease the amount of gas anesthetic required- this helps decrease the possible negative side effects such as hypotension (low blood pressure), bradycardia (slow heartbeat) and hypoventilation (low respiratory rate).

Dental Nerve blocks also ease a patient’s recovery from anesthesia because adverse side effects such as hypertension (high blood pressure), tachycardia (fast heartbeat) and tachypnea (high respiratory rate) are minimized because of decreased oral pain.

Local anesthetics (nerve blocks) completely block sensory nerve transmission and prevent secondary (central) pain sensitization. Local blocks are often used in conjunction with other injectable and oral pain medications. The benefits of using multiple pain medications for dental and oral surgery, specifically dental nerve blocks, include:

  • Owners expect effective pain management
  • Pets are often discharged the same day after dental procedures, and owners want their pets to be as alert and pain-free as possible
  • Pets recover faster and with fewer complications
  • The amount and inhalant anesthetic required is decreased
  • They eliminate the pain perception which results in a smoother anesthesia experience
  • Local blocks continue to give pain management after the dental procedure is over, keeping the pet more comfortable
  • Signs of pain after dental procedures such as rough recoveries, vocalization, restlessness, pawing at the mouth, behaviour changes, decreased appetite and depression are minimized when dental blocks are used

Common dental and oral surgical procedures where dental nerve blocks are indicated include:

  • Surgical and non-surgical extractions
  • Advanced periodontal treatments, such as root planning, periodontal debridement and periodontal flap surgery
  • Oral trauma that involves lacerations of the lips, gums and tongue
  • Foreign body removal and jaw fractures that require hard and soft tissue surgical repair
  • Biopsies of masses
  • Corrective hard and soft tissue oral surgery (i.e. palate surgery and reconstruction surgery)

There are four main dental nerve blocks that we use. The Infraorbital Nerve Block affects the upper incisors, canines and the first, second and third premolars as well as the soft and hard tissues in front of the upper fourth premolars. The Maxillary Nerve Block affects the upper fourth premolar, upper molars and the soft and hard tissue behind the fourth premolars, including the hard and soft palate. The Middle Mental Nerve Block primarily affects the bottom incisors and the soft tissue around them. The Inferior Alveolar Nerve Block or the Mandibular Block affects all the teeth in the lower jaw, including the soft and hard tissues.

Dental nerve blocks are relatively safe when used correctly. Complications resulting from oral nerve blocks have been described in human dentistry. However, the incidence is extremely low. Complications are uncommon in pets. Dental nerve blocks significantly improve pet care and are a valuable addition to pain management for dental and oral surgical procedures here at Kingston Veterinary Clinic.

Written by Kristine Hanson, RVT

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dog dental

What Is a Dental Nerve Block?

Have you been to the dentist and received local freezing? If so, then you have had a dental nerve block. Most dental procedures produce strong sensory stimuli to the point that it affects the amount of general anesthetic required and a painful recovery.

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following policies were updated on Tuesday April 7, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 613-542-7337. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours:
Monday to Wednesday: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Wednesday to Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 3-5 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. We accept credit card and debit card.

6. Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

7. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Kingston Veterinary Clinic