Your pet’s oral health has a big impact on their overall health and longevity. Just like dentistry for humans, having your pet's teeth professionally scaled and polished at least once per year is important in maintaining their dental health. Without routine dental care your pet will be at risk for tooth and gum disease as well as other health problems. Dental disease can also lead to bacterial infection within the lungs, heart, liver and kidneys of all pets.
By three years of age, eight-five percent of pets are affected by oral infections. Early signs of problems may include discoloration of teeth, due to the accumulation of plaque and tartar, inflammation of the surrounding gum tissue (gingivitis) and bad breath. As oral disease progresses you may notice excessive drooling, decreased appetite and weight loss, pain/discomfort associated with the oral cavity, tooth loss or generalized lethargy.
Saving money is very important to all of us. By preventing dental problems before they are problematic could save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
So what can be done to treat oral disease?
First, we recommend that all pets have a routine annual physical examination at least once per year to detect any physical abnormalities or problems. During the physical examination we will discuss with you any problems detected and discuss the recommended treatment options.
If your pet has tartar on their teeth (a thick brown or yellow material) or we detect any teeth that are fractured, severely worn or diseased then a comprehensive dental cleaning and oral exam is needed. The cleaning will remove the accumulation of plaque and tartar on your pet's teeth and then each tooth is polished to remove any small scratches on the surface of the tooth. Once this is complete we will evaluate for any other problem teeth (ie. fractures, infection, loose teeth) or gum problems that may not be obvious when the pet is awake.
Fractured, loose, diseased or infected teeth require dental x-rays to determine what is happening under the gum tissue and surrounding the tooth root. X-rays are a very important part of evaluating problem teeth. They allow us to determine the cause for loose teeth, if complications have developed from a fractured tooth, if infection is present surrounding the tooth root (abscess) and in some cases what kind of complications could arise from extraction.
Once the teeth have been cleaned and all problems treated, we will discuss ways to keep the mouth healthy between cleanings. Daily brushing of the teeth, tartar control chews, dental diets, oral disinfectants and dental sealants are just some of the things that are available to help maintain good dental health. The route you choose will depend on your pet’s cooperation and the ability of each pet owner.
BEFORE & AFTER PICTURES
Anesthetic Safety in Older Pets
We have many clients that express their concerns regarding the safety of general anesthesia in older pets. We take great consideration with older pets and recommend having a full geriatric screen (Full Blood Chemistry, Complete Blood Count and Urinalysis) performed prior to any anesthetic procedure. This allows us to detect any underlying organ dysfunction or problems that may increase their risk for anesthetic complications. For the safety of all our patients, we require baseline preanesthetic blood screening on all patients prior to an anesthetic procedure. Your pet will also have an intravenous (IV) catheter placed and receive fluid therapy during their procedure to help maintain your pets blood pressure, improve recovery and allow us to administer emergency medications as needed. Your pet's vital signs are carefully monitored throughout the entire procedure by one of our Certified Veterinary Techncians (CVT). Our CVT's have graduated from either a 2 or 4-year accredited veterinary technology program, have completed the National Certification exam and have received additional training here at Brookdale Animal Hospital.
How do I schedule an appointment to have my pet’s teeth cleaned?
If your pet has not had a physical examination within the last 12 months we recommend scheduling an appointment for a routine physical examination prior to the dental cleaning. This appointment will help us determine your pet’s individual needs and allows us to estimate the cost for cleaning and/or treatment.
To schedule a professional dental cleaning and polishing please call our office at 763-560-6906.