Dentistry is often overlooked as a part of pet care, but it is in fact one of the most important fields to maintain your furry friend’s health. A clean mouth and strong teeth mean that your pet can eat a wide variety of foods, allowing numerous ways to receive the nutrients they need.
As you can imagine, visits to the dentist are quite different for us than our canine and feline family members. Not only have we been taking care of our teeth on a daily basis for years, but also most of us have the ability to sit still and keep our mouths open for periods of time without sedation. Veterinary dentistry is more involved, time consuming, and complex. Since cleaning your pet’s teeth requires general anesthesia, your pet may need to spend a day at our hospital.
The first step of your pet’s teeth cleaning is a physical examination. After making sure your pet is in good general health, we administer anesthesia for the safety and comfort of your pet and our team.
Once your pet is painlessly asleep, we begin the cleaning by removing the tartar from the teeth with a hand scaler.
Next, we use an ultrasonic scaler and curette to clean above the gum line while cleaning and smoothing the teeth under the gum line.
After that is complete, we polish their teeth, clean the gums, and wash with an antibacterial solution to delay future tartar build-up.
Dental disease is the most common disease seen by veterinarians. In fact, 70% to 85% of pets over the age of 2 have some form of dental disease.
Poor dental hygiene can be the cause of serious health problems for your pet. If dental problems are left untreated, your pet’s heart, liver, and kidneys are in danger of being infected by bacteria.
Unfortunately, these threats are often difficult to identify, so bringing your pet in for a routine check-up is encouraged.
Check your pet for these signs of dental disease:
- Discolored teeth
- Red, inflamed gums
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Swollen mouth, jaws, or gums
- Pain when eating
- Doesn’t play with chew toys