Our pets have started to live longer healthier lives through preventative medicine. This includes regular vet visits, vaccination, proper nutrition and keeping up with oral hygiene.
Our pets are rarely cooperative when it comes to handling their mouths. The teeth should be white and should have no tartar buildup. It is therefore necessary to clean your pets teeth.
It is wise to start dental care when they are small, so they grow accustomed to having their teeth brushed.
The most efficient way to keep your pets teeth clean is to use a toothbrush and toothpaste specially designed for your pets needs. Your pets teeth should be brushed several times a week to remove plaque and prevent tartar build up and periodontal disease from occurring . After a while, you may need a routine dental cleaning done by your veterinarian to remove any excess build up.
Plaque: Our pets rarely get cavities, but they are much more prone to gum disease and excess tartar build-up on the teeth. Food particles and bacteria collect along the gum-line forming plaque. Plaque is usually a pale yellow, that develops naturally on the teeth. Like any bio-film, dental plaque is formed by colonizing bacteria trying to attach themselves to the tooth’s smooth surface. Routine home care such as brushing and special treats can help remove this plaque.
Tartar: If plaque is not removed, minerals in the saliva combine with the plaque and form tartar. This adheres very strongly to the teeth. Plaque starts to mineralize 3-5 days after it forms. Once the tartar has formed it starts to irritate the gums and causes inflammation called gingivitis. This can be seen as reddening of the gums adjacent to the teeth. It also causes bad breath. At this point it is necessary to preform a dental scaling to remove the tartar from the teeth with special instruments called scalers. After the teeth are scaled they are polished.
Periodontal Disease: If the tartar is not removed it starts to build up under the gum line. It separates the gums from the teeth and forms “pockets”. This encourages even more bacterial growth. At this point the damage becomes irreversible, and is called“periodontal” disease.
This can be very painful and can lead to loose teeth, abscesses, bone loss and infection. As it progresses, the bacteria is swallowed and can cause infection of the heart valves ,liver, and kidneys. It can even enter the blood stream. If treated with special instruments and procedures, this can be slowed or stopped depending on the grade of tooth damage. Teeth may have to be extracted to prevent this disease from worsening and elevate the pain it is causing your pet.
When performing oral hygiene at home it is important to start young before tartar has had the chance to adhere to the teeth. Brushing will remove plaque but not tartar. If your pets teeth have tartar, your veterinarian should perform a routine scaling and polishing to remove it. Once the dental cleaning is finished it is important to continue with frequent brushing and following any recommendations made by the veterinarian.
Due to the nature of cleaning an animals teeth, general anesthesia will be necessary. This prevents sudden movement by the pet and it minimizes pain. The sound of the scalar can also be painful to there sensitive ears. It can be very uncomfortable for your pet to preform this procedure while they are awake. Before anesthesia can be administered, Dr Bassi may recommend a pre- anesthetic blood screening. This can ensure safety during the procedure. As your pet gets older these tests can be life saving. If your pet already has an infection, antibiotic treatment may be necessary before a dental cleaning can
be performed. Tooth cleaning is performed by using an ultrasonic scalar to remove tartar buildup above and below the gum line. At this time we would remove any teeth that are visibly causing pain, loose or broken. The final step in the procedure is tooth polishing. This helps prevent plaque build-up.
It is important to take your pet to your veterinarian for regular dental checkups. This will ensure the best dental care for your pet. Depending on the age of your pet, you should take them for dental examination every six months. Smaller pets over three years of age would benefit from frequent examination because they tend to accumulate tartar build up much faster compared to larger animals. Just think, plaque and tartar can begin forming in less than six hours after teeth have been cleaned.
On the day of your pets dental
1. Your pet will have been fasted over night to prevent aspiration or vomiting during the procedure.
2. On the day of your pets dental, we will go over the procedure and have you sign an anesthetic release form
3. A pre-surgical examination will be preformed by the doctor and an IV fluid line will be inserted for safety.
4. After your pet has been sedated, they will be hooked up to the anesthetic machine. At this time the Dr. will do a detailed examination of the teeth.
5. Teeth are then scaled with an ultrasonic scaler
6. Any extractions that are needed are done at this time
7. Teeth are then double checked for any tartar and then polished
8. The Mouth is rinsed with a special antibacterial mouth wash to help prevent infection
9. Your pet is closely monitored as they wake up to ensure a safe and healthy recovery. They will be discharged later that evening.
10. When discharging your pet from the clinic we will go over any aftercare instructions and answer any questions or concerns you may have.
A dental pack is a full packaged dental with everything included for the procedure. The Dental pack includes:
- Pre-anesthetic blood work
- Sedation and anesthetic
- Dental scaling
- Dental polishing
- IV fluids
- Pain medication
- Dental food to go home
- Nail trim
Please Note: Extractions are additional cost, these depend on the tooth and amount of time for removal.