Dental Care for Dogs and Cats
Clean teeth and a healthy mouth are the pathway to good health for your pet. Proper dental care is about more than just preventing "doggy breath" — plaque and tartar build-up on your pet’s teeth can lead to periodontal disease, which can eventually lead to more serious health concerns for your pet. Below is a list of known complications of dental disease:
- Osteomyelitis (inflammation of bone)
- Oronasal fistula (pathologic opening between the nasal and oral cavities)
- Valvular endocarditis (inflammation of the heart valves associated with bacteria)
- Nephritis (kidney inflammation)
- Hepatitis (liver inflammation/infection)
- Poor diabetic control
- Oral cancer
- Eye damage
- Oral cancer
- Brain abscesses
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- Shorter life expectancy
What to look for in your pet...
If your pet is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, he may have periodontal disease:
- Bad breath! (This is often the first sign)
- Inflamed or bleeding gums
- Discomfort while chewing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pawing at the mouth
- NO outward signs at all!
Your Pet's Dental Cleaning
When it comes to dental care, prevention is the key. Before a dental cleaning, every pet undergoes a thorough physical examination and lab work is done prior to any dental procedure. Every patient who undergoes a dental procedure at our hospital has a TEAM of staff members consisting of a dedicated anesthetist, trained dental hygienist and your pet's veterinarian. This may not be what you're used to for your pet, but it is OUR standard for your pet!
At Pine Creek Veterinary Hospital, each dental patient undergoes an 11 step dental procedure. Click here to see the steps to a complete and proper dental procedure!
Because your pet is anesthetized during a dental cleaning, your dedicated anesthetist constantly monitors all of his vital signs closely using sophisticated monitoring equipment during the entire procedure . Blankets and warming pads are used to keep your pet warm and comfortable.
We STRONGLY recommend you continue your pet's dental care at home. A staff member can show you how to brush your pet's teeth at home and can provide recommendations about specially-formulated food and treats that promote good dental health.
Digital Pet Dental X-Rays
The doctors at Pine Creek Veterinary Hospital are firm believers in being thorough! In order to provide the best animal dental care possible, we routinely perform dental radiographs (x-rays). Dental radiographs are one of the most important diagnostic tools available. They allow imaging of the internal anatomy of the teeth, root structure and the bone surrounding the roots. Because veterinary patients do not cooperate when the radiograph sensor is placed in their mouths, taking dental radiographs requires the patient to be anesthetized. Your doctor will make recommendations whether or not to take dental radiographs based on the presenting concern and the results of your pet's complete anesthetized oral examination. By using digital x-ray technology, our veterinarians and staff have access to fast, accurate radiographs, decreasing the time your pet will be under anesthesia.
Some examples of pathologic radiographs:
Anesthesia Free Pet Dentistry
Many pet caregivers have asked us about Anesthesia Free Pet Dentistry (AFD). In an effort to address your questions, we have provided a position statement which can be accessed by clicking here!
The doctors at Pine Creek Veterinary Hospital do not perform AFD and do not agree with its practice.
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