Regular veterinary examinations are especially important in preventing dental disease since dogs and cats rarely show outward signs of even serious painful dental disease. This is Mother Nature’s adaptation to survival in the wild but it can actually hinder the owner’s ability to detect dental problems. We do not believe that pets experience pain to any lesser degree than we do; they simply are more tolerant of pain.
Pet Dental Care
Regular professional cleaning is important to maintaining your pet’s teeth. We use modern and safe ultrasonic units to clean each tooth thoroughly – above and below the gum line.
Dental technicians polish teeth to create a smooth, lustrous tooth surface more resistant to plaque buildup. Fluoride treatments help strengthen enamel and reduce tooth sensitivity. Advanced dental care and digital dental radiography is available. And as always, anesthesia and monitoring are state of the art and of the utmost importance.
Before the Dental Procedure
During the examination, our veterinarian discusses your pet’s dental care needs and overall health status. If infection is noted in the tissue around the teeth, antibiotics may be prescribed.
Since your pet must be anesthetized to allow us to do a thorough cleaning of the teeth, any risk associated with the anesthesia will also be discussed. Blood tests to assure adequate organ function will be performed.
Dentistry can be done any weekday. Do not feed your pet after 10:00 p.m. the night before the dentistry. Please bring your pet to the hospital before 9:00 a.m. on the day of the procedure. Most animals can go home the same afternoon or evening.
If your pet develops calculus, the doctor will recommend dental scaling, polishing and fluoride treatment. We use an ultrasonic dental unit with high-speed vibration that gently and thoroughly cleans the surface of the teeth above and below the gum line. Dental scalers are then used to clean between the teeth and the gums are carefully examined for any disease requiring additional treatment. Finally, the teeth are polished to a high gloss and a fluoride treatment is applied. A beautiful and healthy smile is the end result.
Our efforts then turn to dental home-care. Often we send home dental hygiene materials at no charge to you to help prevent or at least slow down the progression of dental problems.
Prevention of Dental Disease in Pets
Dry pet food and dog biscuits help prevent the build-up of dental calculus and strengthen the gums and teeth, but do not totally prevent build-up of calculus. Prescription Diet T/D is the most effective dietary product designed for the prevention of dental disease.
Some dogs and cats, similar to some people, seem to have more than their share of dental calculus and must have frequent routine cleanings performed.
Brushing your pet’s teeth daily with a specially designed toothbrush and a pet dentifrice is the best way of preventing dental calculus. Many pets will tolerate this after a gradual introduction period. Other dental hygiene methods such as dental gels, rinses and chews may be helpful if brushing is not a practical alternative for your pet.