Did you know that 80% of dogs and cats are estimated to have some form of dental disease before the age of three?
When you analyze the situation, this might not be as far-fetched as it seems. How often do you brush your teeth? Probably every day. And how often do you have a dental cleaning? Probably once every six months to one year. Now, how often does your pet have their teeth brushed, and when was their last dental cleaning?
This is why veterinary dentistry is an important, although often overlooked, issue. Just like human teeth, the teeth of your pets can decay and cause them pain.
Keep your eyes, and nose, peeled for these signs of dental disease:
- Bad breath
- Discolored teeth
- Loose teeth
- Pulling away when you try to touch the mouth area
- Bleeding of the mouth or gums
- Chewing on one side of the mouth, or loss of appetite
- Drooling or dropping food from the mouth
The first step towards correcting or maintaining excellent dental health in your pet is a dental assessment. A veterinarian will survey the teeth and gums, and determine if dental disease has occurred, and the extent of the damage. We recommend having a dental assessment at least once a year.
After the assessment, the next step is often a dental cleaning. We will use an ultrasonic scaler to thoroughly remove plaque build-up from the teeth. This is followed by polishing to remove plaque. Then, the teeth are rinsed.
After the cleaning, we will chart your pet’s teeth to create a record of their health and progress. Because pets do not like to sit still while we are performing a detailed dental cleaning, we must use anesthesia for the procedure. This is for the safety of your pet and the veterinarian performing the dental cleaning. Don’t fret; we will closely monitor your pet during and after the cleaning to ensure they are safe and comfortable during this process.
In some cases, if decay has progressed to an extensive point that is causing your pet pain, oral surgery may be necessary. Our surgical team has the experience and knowledge necessary to perform a safe and effective procedure that will prevent the spread of dental infection to other areas of the mouth or body.