Dental Care/Dental Cleaning
Dental care for our canine and feline patients (and also for many of our small mammal patients) has been increasingly recognized as a major factor in overall health and quality of life. In fact, it is estimated that ~85% of all dogs and cats have some degree of dental disease such as gingivitis (gum inflammation) and/or periodontitis (gum and jawbone inflammation and destruction). Left untreated, dental disease contributes to heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and can be a source of chronic pain and discomfort for the patient.
Regular dental care should include tooth brushing at home using specially designed toothbrushes and toothpastes for canine and feline patients. Our veterinary team is always happy to help with recommendations for specific products. We can also help with advice and techniques for teaching your pet to accept regular tooth brushing.
However, even with regular brushing at home (and understanding that some patients simply don’t allow home care), there will likely be gradual development of dental plaque and tartar. Left untreated, this leads to gingivitis, periodontitis, and other problems. That’s when regular professional dental care is indicated.
Professional dental care for your pet does require general anesthesia, and all of our dental care patients are cared for just as we care for our surgical patients. Pre-anesthetic blood work is completed to make sure there are no underlying problems that might be a concern for anesthesia, and a dedicated team member monitors the patient for the entire procedure and through recovery.
As part of our dental care, we perform a thorough oral exam, dental charting, and obtain dental X-Rays. All teeth are thoroughly cleaned and polished. Additional care or specialized procedures are then completed, including nerve blocks as indicated, evaluation of fractured teeth, tooth extractions, and any other required surgical care.
Dental Radiography (X-Rays)
For most pets, it’s pretty simple to open their mouth and perform a basic oral exam. We’re able to see their teeth, gums, tongue, and other associated structures within the mouth. But as much as a thorough oral exam is an important starting point, we’re unable to fully evaluate the teeth, as 60% of each tooth is below the gum line! Dental X-Rays allow us to evaluate not just the visible crown of the tooth, but the entire tooth, including the roots and surrounding bone of the upper or lower jaw. Dental X-Rays have become the standard of care in veterinary dentistry, and our modern digital X-Ray equipment allows us to provide thorough evaluation of the teeth and associated bone of the upper and lower jaw. We routinely perform whole-mouth dental X-Rays on all patients presenting for dental care.
Broken teeth (with exposure of the pulp canal), diseased teeth with infection (gingivitis and periodontitis), and teeth with resorptive (deteriorating) lesions are not only common, but lead to chronic, painful problems for our patients. Left untreated, these problems can lead to more serious disease, bone loss, and even jaw fractures. Careful evaluation of the teeth, combined with high quality dental X-Rays, allows us to accurately diagnose these problems and provide appropriate surgical care.
We’re here for you and your pet.
Please call us at 814-364-2040 if you have questions or would like more information on our dental and oral surgery services.