Many pet owners do not realize just how important dental care is for their pet’s overall health. The American Dental Society estimates that about 80% of all dogs and cats exhibit signs of dental disease by the age of three years. This is dangerous because dental disease can often lead to more serious health problems beyond the mouth.
During your pet’s oral examination, our veterinarians will examine for signs of dental disease, which may include:
If your pet’s mouth is determined to be in need of help, we may prescribe a professional pet dental cleaning.
The Negative Effects of Dental Disease
When tartar and plaque buildup on the surfaces of your pet’s teeth, the damage to the rest of their body is already beginning. The toxins in this buildup can seep below the gum line and into the bloodstream. As they enter the organs that filter the blood, they can cause heart, liver, and kidney issues.
The Steps of a Professional Dental Cleaning
Once it has been determined that a professional dental is needed for your pet, you can expect the following:
- Your pet will be placed under general anesthesia for their dental cleaning. For some pets, we may recommend pre-anesthetic blood work to ensure that they are healthy enough for anesthesia. This is often recommended for older pets or those with a chronic health condition.
- While under anesthesia, your pet’s vitals will be monitored to ensure that they are maintaining throughout the procedure.
- During this procedure, your pet will get a complete oral health assessment. This assessment includes the dental cleaning, probing of each tooth, polishing, full mouth digital radiographs, and a complete oral exam by one of our doctors.
- Instruments like those used in human dentistry are used to remove plaque and calculus from the teeth, as well as polish and smooth surfaces of the teeth to prevent future buildup.
- Loose or infected teeth are diagnosed and extracted, if necessary.
- Depending on the severity of the periodontal disease discovered, pre- or post-procedure antibiotic therapy may be recommended.
Ongoing, At-Home Pet Dental Care
After your pet’s mouth has been cleaned professionally, or after a professional dental cleaning has been deemed unnecessary if your pet’s mouth is already clean, we recommend ongoing, at-home dental care to maintain oral health. We can suggest specific dental products such as treats, chews, water additives, and more to help prevent or reverse dental issues.