Dental care is vital to the overall health of any pet. Dental disease can lead to health issues with the heart, liver, and kidneys, and can cause pets significant pain. In fact, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats over three years of age suffer from some form of dental disease, making it the most common pet health issue among our pet population.
There are a lot of different ways to maintain your pets’ oral health at home, including home brushing, dental chews approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC), and regular inspection.
The most effective way to protect your pet from dental disease is through professional comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment (COHAT). To safely and fully evaluate all tooth surfaces and below the gum line, our patients need to be anesthetized. After a full physical examination, blood profile evaluation, intravenous catheter placement, and anesthetic induction, your pet is set up in our dental suite complete with multi-parameter anesthetic monitoring. Each tooth is examined and gum tissue is evaluated for inflammation, growths or pockets around the teeth. Hand instruments and an ultrasonic scaler are used to clean the crowns of the teeth as well as under the gumline.
Digital dental radiographs (X-rays) are taken of each tooth to evaluate the bone and roots beneath the gumline. Any teeth with periodontal disease are treated or extracted if necessary. Once all treatment is complete, the teeth are polished. Your pet is then transferred to our recovery area for close monitoring as he awakens from anesthesia so he is ready to go home with you by the end of the day.
Signs of dental disease in your pet can include bad breath, loose teeth, inflamed red gums, unwillingness to play with toys or chew on favorite chew toys, a change in eating habits or sometimes no symptoms at all despite a painful mouth. Animals are good at hiding their pain, so regular oral exams are important for their comfort. If you suspect your pet may be suffering from dental disease, please contact us to set up an evaluation.