As part of our high quality care, we offer pet dental services in our veterinary office. About 80% of pets exhibit the beginning stages of periodontal disease by age 3, which is why dental exams and teeth cleanings are essential from an early age. Also, studies indicate that pets with good oral hygiene tend to live 2 to 4 years longer than pets whose dental care has been neglected. While periodontal disease is entirely preventable, when left untreated it can lead to heart disease, kidney infection, liver infection, or stroke.
Reasons for regular dental check-ups:
- Avoids or reduces tooth loss due to periodontal disease
- Helps your pet avoid unnecessary pain
- Helps your pet maintain healthy and functional teeth
- Improves foul breath
- Prevents potential damage to the brain, heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys
What does a pet dental exam involve?
Pets can experience many of the same dental issues that humans do, including gingivitis, periodontal disease, abscesses and broken teeth. If a tooth has been infected and is either loose or has 50% or more of its attachments to the jaw bone destroyed, it will need to be extracted. Broken or abscessed teeth can sometimes be saved with a root canal, for which we would refer you to our local veterinary dentist. Regular dental exams and cleanings can help you avoid the costliness of involved dental procedures and can help prevent your pet from unnecessary suffering.
Pet dental exams are similar to human dental exams and include cleaning and polishing of the teeth. Dental X-rays are strongly recommended for every pet, to help us to find problems that are not obvious just by looking at or probing the teeth. These include abscesses, fractured roots and tooth root resorption, among other problems.
During your pet’s dental cleaning, a dental technician will clean the surface of the teeth with an ultrasonic scaler, which cleans using the vibration of sound waves combined with a water spray. The waves push the water, creating tiny scrubbing bubbles that implode on tooth surfaces and kill microbes as they separate plaque from the tooth structure. After scaling the teeth, the technician lightly buffs and polishes your pet’s teeth to smooth the enamel. A rinse with chlorhexidine to help with gingivitis completes their dental cleaning. Last, a coat of Oravet is applied to the teeth, which acts as a barrier to plaque build-up.
After the cleaning, we will provide you with a comprehensive analysis of your pet’s oral health. You will receive at-home oral hygiene tips specific to your pet, and if any serious dental conditions exist, you will be notified prior to any treatment planning.