Pet dentistry has become an established feature of good veterinary care…and for good reason! One of the best things a pet owner can do to protect the overall health of their pet is to provide routine veterinary dental care that is recommended by the American Veterinary Dental Society.
If the bacteria in your pet’s mouth gets the opportunity to settle and reproduce in the lining of the heart or heart valves, a serious condition may result called bacterial endocarditis. Liver damage, kidney damage, and joint problems are a common sequel to bacterial invasion via an unhealthy mouth.
What Do I mean when I say Veterinary Dental Care?
What if you brought in your seven-year-old dog for annual vaccinations and during the physical exam we notice that there is plaque on the teeth and inflamed gums at the margins of the teeth and gums?
Without care your dog’s gingivitis and plaque would continue to worsen over time. That plaque and tartar progresses to periodontal disease, gingival recession, bacterial infection, loose teeth and root exposure…not to mention a lot of pain!
Instead…it’s time for dental care.
Typically, your dog would be admitted to our office in the morning after an overnight fast from food. We perform routine blood tests to make sure he doesn’t have any hidden health issues.
Depending on age, size, temperament, and over-all health status we give your dog an appropriately chosen pre-anesthetic (to help him relax and to prepare him for anesthesia). When he is ready, an intravenous catheter will be placed, an injectable anesthetic will be given, an endotracheal tube will be placed, and your dog will be maintained on gas anesthesia (hint – that is the same protocol if YOU have to go under anesthesia).
Now to the Dental Care – Every surface of each tooth will be cleaned using an ultrasonic instrument to remove all the plaque and tartar from your pet’s teeth, while spraying cooling water on them. After the teeth are scaled a professional polish is performed to keep the teeth perfectly smooth.
Dental x-rays are taken of all teeth that may have an issue, and every tooth (and x-ray) is examined by the veterinarian. If there is an issue in the mouth, we will find it. If any tooth needs extra care or attention, it will receive it.
Just like in humans, at times a dog will need extra care in the mouth. That could mean fixing a broken tooth, periodontal surgery, or even a root canal. While many pet owners do not expect their pet to have these dental procedures performed, they can and should be completed in certain AOL desktop gold customer support circumstances.
Unfortunately, sometimes the best thing to do is to remove a severely damaged or noticeably loose tooth. When the gum heals, the pet seldom shows any signs of missing the offending tooth or teeth.
When your dog wakes, the endotracheal tube is carefully taken out and antibiotics are prepared for administration at home for 3 to 7 days. Further instructions will be provided to you regarding beneficial oral care for your dog. Most dogs and cats need veterinary dental care at least once a year.
Be sure to take a good look in your pet’s mouth and inspect it for anything that may look or smell unusual. If you are suspicious that something isn’t right, make an appointment with us so we can provide a dental checkup.
Both you and your pet will feel better when oral hygiene is an important part of your pet health care routine. Together you and your veterinarian can keep a look-out for teeth and gum problems and provide your pet with routine veterinary dental care.
Is it time for your pet’s dental checkup? Don’t hesitate – call our office today to schedule an appointment to keep your pet smiling!