Dentistry

We go to the dentist bi-annually and brush twice per day, how often do your brush your pet's teeth?

Dental disease is as much of a problem for dogs and cats as it is for humans. Plaque buildup often causes painful gingivitis (inflammation of the gums around the base of teeth). If the teeth are not cared for the buildup can progress to periodontal disease accompanied by infection. This typically results in bone and tooth loss. Periodontal disease occurs because the plaque pushes the gums away from the roots of the teeth which causes degeneration of the bone surrounding the teeth. As the teeth loosen in their sockets infection is able to enter the roots. Antibiotics may be used to temporarily suppress infections however the problem will return quickly unless the plaque is removed. These infections must be taken seriously because they can be picked up by the blood stream and carried to other parts of the body including: kidney, liver, and heart.

Services

Annual dental health assessments

Routine professional dental cleanings

Dental/periodontal surgery if warranted

(anesthesia required for your pet's safety)

Extractions

Gum surgery

Oral mass removal

How can I keep my pets teeth healthy?

 

  • Tooth brushing – Brushing your pets teeth with toothpaste and brushes made especially for pets is an effective way to remove plaque before it advances to tartar. Ideally this should be done daily but if done at least twice weekly it will yield positive results. Not all pets will tolerate tooth brushing so there are other options if this does not work for you.

  • Water additives – This type of product works by reducing bacteria in the mouth which will reduce bad breath.

  • Dental cleaning – We provide dental cleanings in the hospital to remove any tartar buildup as well as evaluate the health of the teeth, roots, and gums. Dental cleanings are performed under general anesthesia so that we are able to reach all of the teeth without causing your pet stress or pain. During that time the veterinarian will access if any teeth need to be removed due to damage via a visual examination as well as x-rays. Tooth extraction is a very common procedure because many times it becomes the only option to relieve pain or prevent the advancement of periodontal disease. Diseased teeth have the potential to harm surrounding teeth and tissue.

 

What are the signs to look out for?

 

  • Bad breath

  • Inability to chew hard food, or dropping food as they eat

  • Loss of appetite or weight loss

  • Excessive drooling which may or may not contain blood

  • Yellow and/or brown tartar along the gum line.

 

What should I expect when my pet has a dental cleaning?

 

  • If you detect any of the signs above contact us to schedule a checkup with your veterinarian.

  • Prior to scheduling the cleaning we will run pre-anesthetic bloodwork to verify that your pet is healthy enough to safely undergo the procedure.

  • The day of the procedure a technician will discuss and help access the recent health of your pet and your veterinarian will again complete a physical exam, including an oral health assessment.

  • Pre-anesthetic medications are given to your pet in order to calm/sedate them in preparation for the procedure.

  • A catheter is placed in order to administer further sedative medication as well as IV fluid support during treatment.

  • The patient is then placed under general anesthesia and monitored by our experienced technicians as well as your veterinarian. Technician’s monitor and track heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen, body temperature, and carbon dioxide output.

  • Body temperature is regulated using a Bair hugger warming blanket.

  • Oral x-rays are obtained in order to evaluate the roots of teeth beneath the gum line.

  • The teeth are cleaned by a highly trained technician, who will remove plaque and calculus through the use of dental forceps as well as ultrasonic scaling.

  • Teeth are polished, rinsed, and treated with fluoride.

  • If x-rays indicate that tooth extractions are necessary your veterinarian will consult with you via telephone and with approval make the necessary extractions.

  • Patients are closely monitored as they recover from by checking vitals and providing post-op comfort.

  • You will then be updated via telephone with how your pet is doing and a pickup time. Pickup time is determined by how long patients are under anesthesia as well as how quickly they wake up.

  • Upon discharge you will be provided with a full report of the procedure and instructions for home care.

  • We will check in the following day via telephone to ensure your pet is recovering well and that all your questions have been answered.

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