Maintaining the health of your pet’s teeth is one of the most important things that you can do to increase the comfort and length of your pet’s life. Not only is dental disease painful for your pet, but there are bacteria in the calculus (tartar) that will make their way into the bloodstream and can end up in just about any organ. This can cause heart problems, kidney disease, liver disease and lung infections! By preventing these problems, your pet health care costs in later years will be reduced, and your pet will be much better company with no bad breath.
How often your pet will need a dental cleaning is dependent upon many factors, including breed, individual dentition, diet, and home dental care.
Dental cleaning in animals requires the use of anesthesia. Prior to putting any pet under anesthesia, we run bloodwork to check the function of various organs. This lets us know if your pet will need special care due to an increased risk of problems. Our anesthetics are chosen with your pet’s utmost safety in mind and are dictated by their physical exam and laboratory findings.
Once your pet is under anesthesia, an ultrasonic scaler is used to remove the calculus both above and below the gum line. All teeth are checked for diseased roots, and unhealthy teeth may be extracted at this time. The teeth are then polished to make them smooth and more resistant to calculus buildup. Antiseptic flushing is important after polishing to get rid of bacteria both above and below the gum-line. Finally, a fluoride coating is applied to the teeth. Antibiotics are always given due to the release of bacteria that live in the tartar. Aftercare by the pet owner is very important. This includes a routine of tooth brushing and possibly a special diet.
Regular care of your pet’s teeth can increase their lifespan by several years!