Dental Health CareDentistry
No other procedure performed on small animals does more to help patients than routine teeth cleaning and after-care. Statistics show that up to 80% of dogs and cats over the age of three years have some level of periodontal disease. Your pet's overall wellness can be greatly improved by maintaining their dental hygiene. Should your pet need a dental procedure performed, we will provide the following services:
- Oral evaluations on your pet while they're awake and again while under general anesthesia.
- Pre-surgical bloodwork to evaluate blood cell count, liver and kidney functions.
- Pre-surgical chest X-rays to evaluate lung and heart function.
- Pre-surgical ECG to evaluate heart rhythm and function.
- General anesthesia to ensure a safe and painless dental procedure; fully monitored and attended by anesthesia staff.
- Thorough dental cleaning, scaling (above and below the gum line) and polishing for dogs and cats.
- Periodontal deep cleanings (root planing).
- Extraction of diseased or problem teeth as needed.
- Care & dental charting of dental condition grades I-IV.
- Fluoride treatment.
- Client education & home care instructions.
- Professional referrals to the right veterinary dental specialist to suit your pet's needs.
For more in-depth discussions on these topics and other dental information, please visit www.dentalvet.com.
Dental Health Care at Home
Home care is the single most important procedure the owner can do to maintain oral health.The goal of dental home care is to remove plaque from tooth surfaces and gingival pockets before it mineralizes into calculus, a process that occurs within days of a teeth cleaning. Success depends on the owner's ability to brush the teeth daily, as well as the dog or cat's acceptance of the process. If performed regularly, daily brushing will dramatically increase the interval between teeth cleaning appointments.
Plaque is constantly being made and deposited in the mouth. Humans have a buildup of plaque in the morning that makes our breath smell bad, and with proper home care, we can keep plaque buildup under control. People brush their teeth several times daily to remove plaque - why not our pets?
Toothpaste & Toothbrushes
Choosing a proper toothbrush and toothpaste is also very important. There are specially-made brushes to fit into the large mouths of long muzzled dogs as well as small brushes for cats. Each dog or cat must have his or her own brush. Sharing brushes may result in cross contamination of bacteria from one pet to another. (Do you share toothbrushes?) Also, never use human toothpaste on your pet! Dogs and cats cannot spit and human toothpaste is not made to be ingested! So make sure to purchase a toothpaste specifically formulated for pets.
To get started with brushing, slowly introduce the toothpaste and tooth brush. When you sense the pet is becoming anxious about the brushing procedure, give reassurance by talking and try again. Reward progress immediately with a treat or a play period after each cleaning session. Each pet is different - some will be trained in one week while others will take a month or more. The payoff is well worth the learning curve.
Clients often ask, "doesn't hard food keep teeth clean?" Some believe when their dog or cat chews on hard food or biscuits, mineral deposits are broken down and the teeth stay clean. Hard food and dental diets (such as Hill's® Prescription Diet t/d®) with larger and harder biscuits can help control plaque accumulation above the gum line. These diets are most effective in dogs and cats that chew their food well. However, the only way to keep teeth clean below the gum line is by daily brushing!