“Pet Dental Health Month” is an initiative by veterinarians and other pet service providers to increase awareness of the importance of dental care for pets. Having healthy teeth and gums can help your pet’s overall health and well being while dental disease can have a significant negative impact.
• Plaque and tarter accumulation can lead to painful gum disease and eventually tooth loss for your pet. It is also a significant source of bacteria for your pet which can spread elsewhere in the body.
• Broken or loose teeth can make it difficult or painful for your pet to eat properly. Left untreated, they can develop an abscess around the root of the tooth.
• Cats are at risk of a painful condition called gingivitis and stomatitis where their immune system reacts to the accumulation of plaque and tater and results in painful cavities and resorption or tooth roots.
Pet Dental Health Month encourages pet owners to take steps to prevent dental disease by brushing their pet’s teeth, feeding a diet specifically designed to reduce plaque and tarter accumulation and feeding treats that encourage chewing to prevent plaque build up. However, if a pet already has significant dental plaque and tarter accumulation, they will need a dental cleaning under general anesthesia or ‘dentistry’ to remove it.
Did you know a proper dental cleaning for pets involves using the same techniques and tools your dentist uses for you?
• With your pet under a general anesthetic, the teeth will be cleaned first with an ultrasonic scaler that uses a combination of a high-speed vibrating tip and water to remove the majority of plaque and tarter above and below the gum line.
• This will be followed by hand scaling to gently remove any remaining plaque or tarter.
• Each tooth will be gently probed and charted to check for ‘pockets’ indicating more advanced gum disease and recession.
• Loose or broken teeth will be removed.
• The tooth surfaces on all sides will be polished to make them smooth and make it more difficult for plaque and tarter to accumulate.
Proper dental cleaning is a skill that requires proper training and a light touch – improper use of dental instruments can potentially do more harm than good! For pets this means using general anesthesia and for procedures to be done either by a veterinarian or veterinary technician under the direct supervision of a veterinarian.
Some pets will require preanesthetic blood work to be performed beforehand and some pets may need to be on intravenous fluids for the procedure. Pets who have extractions (teeth removed) or have advanced dental disease may also need antibiotics and pain killers. Most pets will go home the same day while others may require an overnight stay in the hospital for monitoring and pain control.
Afterwards, you will likely notice an improvement in your pet’s breath and for pets with more advanced dental disease, many owners report their pet seems to feel better overall 😊
Please feel free to call us at 705-759-8888 with any questions or to schedule your pets dental cleaning.