Today’s Standard of Care: Pet Dentistry
Modern veterinary medicine recognizes the need for routine dental care. Healthy teeth and gums are important to a pet’s overall health. Pets’ teeth are just like ours—can you imagine what your teeth would be like if you never brushed or received dental care? Dental disease not only affects the mouth, but can also lead to more serious problems such as heart, lung, and kidney disease. Plus, dental problems can be very painful for your pet.
At each wellness exam, we will inspect your pet’s mouth and teeth. We’ll evaluate plaque and tartar accumulation, provide instruction for home care, and determine if further examination or professional dental cleaning is warranted. If plaque and tartar buildup goes unchecked, inflammation may develop and infection can form around the root of the tooth. Each cat and dog is individual, but for some yearly dental cleanings are necessary.
Dental Cleanings and Surgery
Dental cleanings need to be performed under general anesthesia with full intubation for all dogs and cats. It is impossible to do x-rays and adequately examine and clean all surfaces of your pet’s oral cavity while your pet is awake. If it were possible, we’d certainly offer that option.
Here’s what our dental patients receive:
- Pre-anesthetic Work-up: We’ll verify your pet is healthy enough to undergo general anesthesia. Just as in the case for any surgery we perform, we’ll monitor and record your pet’s vital signs, ensuring their safety.
- Dental X-rays: Advanced digital x-rays will look below the gum surface and detect problems that cannot be seen by physical examination alone. X-rays also confirm whether it is necessary to extract decaying or damaged teeth.
- Scaling and Polishing: Using instruments much like you have experienced at the dentist, we will remove plaque and tartar and polish surfaces.
- Fluoride and Sealants: These substances strengthen the teeth and inhibit development of future plaque.
At your next wellness exam, we will evaluate your pet’s dental health and answer any questions you have. Dental care is a vital aspect of wellness—and goes a long way in ensuring your pet’s good health and longevity.