Did you know that you can add two to four years to your pet’s life with proper dental care? Dental disease is often overlooked by many pet owners. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats develop tooth and gum disease by the age of three years. Dental hygiene is an important part of your pet’s health and can often be the cause of serious illness. If left untreated, dental problems can lead to larger systemic issues in your pet due to oral bacteria entering the blood stream and damaging the kidneys, heart and liver.
If your pet exhibits any of the following symptoms, you should schedule a dental examination appointment immediately:
- Discomfort while chewing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Bad breath
- Inflamed or bleeding gums
Dental disease and its serious consequences can be avoided by bringing your pet to your veterinarian for regular dental check-ups and teeth cleanings. This is why All Creatures Veterinary Care Center offers full dental cleanings as well as a range of dental procedures such as extractions.
A veterinary dental cleaning is similar to, but much more involved than the same procedure you undergo at the dentist. Your pet’s dental cleaning requires a general anesthetic in order to keep him or her still and comfortable, and, thus, requires a day’s hospitalization.
- Prior to a routine or more complicated dental procedure, we perform a complete physical examination and pre-dental laboratory tests in order to identify any potential health problems that could complicate the use of anesthesia on your pet.
- Once the anesthetic is administered, the cleaning begins. We start by removing tartar from your pet’s teeth using a specialized ultrasonic scaler.
- A periodontal probe is then used to check for pockets under the gum line where bad breath and periodontal disease start.
- We will also take digital x-rays of the entire mouth looking for disease under the gum line. Sometimes, this can lead to more extensive dental work on specific teeth in order to try and prevent further damage.
- Finally, the teeth are polished to create a smooth surface that prevents plaque and tartar buildup. A fluoride treatment is then used to help strengthen the enamel and reduce tooth sensitivity.
We recommend all pets receive a complete dental cleaning one to two times per year. Between cleanings, you can keep your pet’s teeth clean and healthy with regular brushing and the use of other home dental products. Our staff can show you how to brush your pet’s teeth and answer any questions you have about your pet’s dental health.