Dental health is a very important part of your pet's overall health and wellness. Dental disease can affect all organ systems in the body, especially the heart, liver, and kidneys. Your pet's teeth should be checked by a veterinarian at least per year. The treatment of dental disease includes a thorough dental cleaning and polishing and ideally dental radiographs as well. Radiographs (x-rays) will help determine the severity of the condition and whether or not further treatment is necessary. Treating early in the disease will not only help keep your pet healthy, but it may also prevent more extensive treatment, such as tooth extraction.
A Dental Cleaning Start to Finish
Our example patient is a 9 pound Shih Tzu. She is 7 years old at the time of the dental cleaning and previously had a dental cleaning with extractions when she was 3 years old. She came in for another dental cleaning as the tartar on her teeth had accumulated causing dental issues for the patient.
Before the Cleaning
Over time, tartar builds up on your pet's teeth. If the tartar is left on the teeth for a long time, it can cause serious damage such as gum recession, infection, and tooth decay.
After the Cleaning
After the teeth have been cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler we can assess the gums and teeth without the tartar. After a thorough examination we can determine if the teeth need further diagnostics and treatment.
Diagnostic Tools: Radiology
By utilizing radiology (x-rays) we can determine the severity of the dental disease and damage done to the teeth and bone below the surface. X-rays are a valuable and appreciated tool for dentals.
The Finished Product
After removing the tartar accumulation with an ultrasonic scaler, we saw that the gum tissue had receded, revealing roots of some of the teeth as well as periodontal pockets in the gingival tissue surrounding the teeth. Over time, that damage causes the teeth to become mobile. Radiographs revealed the severity of the dental disease and deemed extraction necessary.
Dental Cleanings are Pet and Owner Recommended!
7 Months After The Dental Cleaning and Extractions
Gingival tissue heals quickly. In the above picture we can see that the extraction sites have healed over with pink healthy tissue. The teeth that were not extracted and were cleaned and polished still have healthy gingival tissue supporting them. There are no signs of infection or other problems. Tartar has started to form on the teeth again, but is minimal and not currently causing issues.
Routine dental cleanings are important for the health and happiness of your pet.
Each pet (dog or cat) is different. Some require yearly dental cleanings and others do not. Routine wellness exams will help us monitor your pet's oral health and allow us to give you recommendations to help your pet stay happy and healthy.
Meet the Patient, Jinksie!
What Does the Patient Have To Say?
After the dental procedure, Jinksie's owner said she felt much better! She started playing and fetching more than she did when she was a puppy. She became more active and ate better because the pain caused by dental disease was gone. Her owner plans to continue dental cleanings as needed to keep her feeling better than she has in years.
Her owner plans to continue dental cleanings as needed to keep her furry companion feeling better than she has in years!
Our veterinarians are well trained in dental care. We can make recommendations based on your pet's overall health and the health of their teeth, and provide you with treatment options. All of our dental procedures are performed under general/inhalant anesthesia. Anesthesia makes it possible to perform a thorough examination of the mouth and the dental procedure with no stress or pain to your pet.
Prevention of dental disease is also very important. The gold standard is brushing your pet's teeth daily. However, we are realistic, realize that this may be difficult, and recommend brushing at least twice weekly. There are also many products such as dental chews and rinses that could help decrease tartar build-up and bacteria in the mouth.
We offer dental consultation examinations and dental cleanings to examine your pet's mouth and make recommendations for further dental care. We want the best for your family and pets.
To schedule a dental consultation or procedure, please call us to set up an appointment.