Never underestimate the importance of your pet’s dental and oral health, and never overlook the important role that dental radiography and cleanings have in helping to achieve and maintain that good health. Your pet’s teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian to check for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.
While the damage caused by periodontal disease is sometimes irreversible, it can be halted with antibiotics and regular cleaning. The wisest solution is to stop the disease before it starts.
Your pet should have an annual dental examination performed by your veterinarian and discuss regular cleanings. A thorough cleaning removes plaque and tartar both above and below the gum line. This proactive treatment is aimed at maintaining the natural oral defenses so that periodontal disease and other dental problems have a harder time becoming established. A good home care program can tremendously extend the positive effects of the professional cleaning.
The best form of oral home care is daily brushing with a soft toothbrush. Your veterinarian can show you how to do it, and provide special brushes, toothpastes, and oral gels specifically made for pets. We can also tell you about special treats that help control dental plaque.
Dry food is generally better than canned for tooth health. However, you’ll get the best results with specially formulated foods that have been proven effective in fighting plaque and tartar buildup. You can ask us for recommendations any time!
A picture is worth 1,000 words! Yes, much can be determined by closely evaluating the visible surfaces of your pet’s teeth. But, comparable to the situation with icebergs, much more tooth and information lay below the surface. This important additional information can only be learned through radiographs.
Specifically designed dental radiology equipment allows us to view structures that lie below the gum line. The location of tooth root infections, the extent of periodontal bone loss and the identification of bone cysts and tumors can be identified using dental x-rays. With this knowledge, the best decisions can be made for your pet.
Anesthesia is required for dental x-rays. A dental x-ray sensor is placed in the mouth and a movable dental x-ray machine is adjusted to project x-rays through the tooth and jaw onto the plate. The image can then be used to make a diagnosis and treatment can be carried out. Taking these images is the only way to know the TRUE health and stability of your pet’s teeth. We are very proud to have this state of the art equipment in our hospital to give your pet the very best it deserves.
After a thorough examination of your dog’s mouth and dental x-rays, the tooth scaling will then be performed, using an ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque and tartar above and below the gum line. The tartar below the gum line causes the most significant periodontal disease, so it is important that it be thoroughly removed. After scaling, the teeth are polished to remove microscopic scratches and decrease the rate of subsequent plaque build-up.
When periodontal disease is advanced, it may not be possible to save the badly affected teeth, which may need to be extracted during the procedure. If your pet does need extractions, they will be sent home with pain medication and we recommend feeding soft food for the next few days to make sure they are comfortable.
If you have any questions about dental health or the services we offer, feel free to contact us!