Oral Health is about more than just a great smile and good breath! Your pet’s teeth are very important to his or her overall health and wellness. More than 80% of dogs and cats over the age of 3 have active dental disease.
At every exam, we will check your pet’s teeth, gums and oral cavity for signs of dental disease. In addition, you may notice the following signs at home.
Signs of Dental Disease
When your family veterinarian recommends a professional dental cleaning for your pet, you can trust us to take great care of him while he’s in our care. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis so that your pet will be home and resting comfortably with you before the end of the day.
Our veterinary technicians start by running pre-anesthetic blood work and placing an intravenous catheter. The blood work screens for conditions that may cause complications with anesthesia, and lets the doctor plan the safest anesthesia for your pet. The intravenous catheter allows us to safely administer sedative and anesthetic medications and fluids if necessary.
For your pet’s comfort and safety, all dental cleaning are performed under general anesthesia with your pet intubated (a breathing tube placed in the windpipe) to maintain a secure airway.
A highly trained veterinary technician will then clean off tarter build up and polish all surfaces of your pet’s teeth, including under the gum line.
Next, a veterinarian will check every tooth looking for pockets of infection, gum recession, loose or broken teeth, and any growths or masses in the mouth. She will extract any teeth that are damaged.
Your pet will be monitored closely during recovery. We administer pain medications and antibiotics as needed. A veterinary technician will discuss your pet’s dental cleaning with you, answer any questions that you may have, and send you home with written instructions and a home care kit.
At Home Preventive Dental Care
There are many ways you can help keep your pet’s teeth healthy.
- Brushing is best – daily teeth brushing with a pet-friendly tooth paste is the best way to prevent plaque and tarter build-up which can lead to periodontal disease.
- Dental rinses – a good alternative for preventing plaque if your pet doesn’t allow daily brushing
- Water additives – also helps prevent plaque formation and keep your pet’s breath smelling fresh
- Dental diets or chews – these help prevent plaque accumulation through mechanical action
With any of these products, make sure to ask your family veterinarian before using. The veterinarians at Risius Family Veterinary Service can help you find which products will work best for you and your pet.