Dental

Most dogs and cats 3 years of age and older have some degree of periodontal disease. This consists of plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth, swelling of the gums, and bone loss around the roots of the teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause infection, tooth loss and pain. Bacteria living on the pockets around the tooth roots can spread to other organs such as the kidneys, liver and heart.

We see dental care as an important part of your pet’s overall healthcare. Our goal with dental care is for your pet to keep their entire set of teeth their whole life. We try to accomplish this with at home tooth brushing, chew toys and regular dental cleanings. Brushing your pets teeth is by far the best way to keep their teeth healthy. Start slowly and give them a treat every time so they are rewarded for you brushing their teeth. Use a soft bristled toothbrush and toothpaste made for pets.

Having safe things for your pet to chew on will also help slow the progression of periodontal disease. Avoid hard toys and bones that can potentially damage your pet’s teeth. For a list of the best products for your pet, you can go the Veterinary Oral Health Council website www.vohc.org

Teeth Cleaning

A professional teeth cleaning can be performed to remove all the tartar that has accumulated on your pet’s teeth. It requires a half day in the hospital. Your pet will be given a general anesthetic. An ultrasonic scaler will be used to remove the tartar above the gum line while a curette cleans and smooths the teeth under the gum line. We then polish the teeth to remove any roughened areas.

Dental x-rays will be performed to diagnose problems under the gumline. These problems include, fractured tooth roots, tooth root abscesses, bone loss and resorptive lesions.

We make every effort to save teeth. Our veterinarians will only recommend tooth extractions if they believe it is necessary for your pet’s well being. Extractions are most likely when tooth roots are infected, there are resorptive lesions, or there is extensive bone loss around the roots causing the teeth to be loose, and painful.