Proper dental care is as important for your pet as it is for you. In addition to preventing bad breath and periodontal disease it can also prevent infection from spreading through the blood stream to your pet's liver, kidneys, and heart. This bacterial shower can lead to permanent organ damage affecting your pet's overall health. Dentistry is an important part of your pet's overall health. Signs of dental disease include bad breath, pain with eating, and drooling.
A dental prophylaxis is performed under general anesthesia using the same inhalation anesthetic and careful monitoring techniques that we use for our surgical patients. Depending on your pet's age and health, pre-anesthetic blood work may be required. An intravenous catheter and fluids are required for all dentistry patients. A thorough oral exam is performed to look for infected/loose teeth, foreign material in the mouth, or any oral masses followed by dental radiographs to check tooth roots. The teeth are then scaled with an ultrasonic scaler. Any loose, fractured, or infected teeth are then extracted. Certain teeth may have up to 3 roots, and extraction may require a gingival flap and sectioning of the teeth. The remaining teeth are then polished and then a fluoride treatment is applied and allowed to sit for 5 minutes. The last step in a dental cleaning is the application of a sealant called Oravet® (www.oravet.com), which seals the teeth and prevents tartar and plaque build up.
Good oral health means greater comfort for your pet and also decreases the risk of other systemic side effects associated with dental disease. We also carry a variety of home dental care products to keep your pets teeth clean in between dental cleanings. Many pet owners find their pets tolerate brushing at home and many products are now available to continue good oral health, including flavored tooth pastes, special dental diets (Purina DH Veterinary Diet), and dental chew toys.
If you are like many other pet owners, you may wonder what exactly happens with your pet while they are here for a dental cleaning. This video should help illustrate the process involved in keeping your pet happy and healthy.