Paying attention to your pet’s dental needs is a very important part of their overall health. Bad breath is much more than just being unpleasant for you to smell, it usually signifies plaque and tartar build up, and often dental disease. Even without the tell-tale bad breath, there could be significant, and potentially harmful, changes in your pet’s mouth. Dental disease can not only lead to gum inflammation and recession, loose teeth needing extraction, and infected teeth; the bacteria from the mouth can travel through the body and potentially cause problems in other organ systems such as the heart, liver and kidneys. Therefore, it is very important to get routine dental cleanings, as well as provide your pet with home dental care.
Your pet will need to go under general anesthesia so that we can provide the most thorough dental possible. A veterinary technician will perform a comprehensive cleaning consisting of ultra-sonic scaling, subgingival hand-scaling, polishing, and fluoride application. One of our veterinarians then does a thorough oral exam, examining each tooth individually, evaluating gingival health, as well as assessing for any abnormalities in the mouth.
Our hospital has a digital dental x-ray unit which provides high quality dental images on your pet. Full mouth dental x-rays are recommended to provide a more complete evaluation of all the teeth. Tooth root problems and infections can be present below the gum line, in apparently healthy looking teeth. 28% of dogs and 42% of cats have hidden dental disease that cannot be seen on routine physical exams. Animals that appear to have missing teeth should have x-rays to be sure there is not a non-erupted tooth; or that the crown did not break off, leaving root fragments behind. Worn, chipped or discolored teeth should be monitored with x-ray to monitor for developing infection. Any patient that seems to have sensitivity chewing its food, treats or toys should have x-rays to check for any tooth/root problems.
We are able to perform any needed extractions during the dental procedure, from routine elevations to complicated surgical removal with drilling. We can also apply dental bonding to small chips in tooth enamel.
Our hospital also has a variety of products for you to help provide good dental care at home, including toothbrushes and toothpaste, oral sprays, and water additives.
Contact us if you have any questions regarding your pet’s dental care today at (586) 416-8800!