We are proud to be able to provide our patients with state-of-the-art dental procedures. Each pet having a dental prophylaxis (cleaning) is given a general anesthetic. A dental x-ray machine allows us to take x-rays of all teeth so that abscesses, bone loss and other abnormalities invisible to the naked eye can be discovered. An ultrasonic scaler is then used to clean plaque and calculus from the tooth surface above and below the gumline. A high-speed polisher is used to complete the cleaning process and remove any imperfections that may cause further buildup of plaque. Fluoride and a dental sealant are applied after the cleaning is completed.
Once the teeth are clean, each tooth is examined individually for problems and the depth of the gingival (gum) pocket around each tooth is measured. Each tooth is also assessed for looseness.
Based on the x-rays and examination, each tooth is assessed for whether further treatment or extraction is indicated. If additional treatments or extraction are needed, we can contact you during the procedure if that is your desire. Generally, these additional procedures can be completed at the time of the dental cleaning. This way the pet is spared another anesthetic procedure. We use a high speed dental unit to assist with all extractions. This allows teeth to be extracted with the least possible amount of trauma to the mouth and jaw. Before having your pet undergo any extractions, be certain that your vet has this type of equipment.
Once the mouth is healthy, many clients notice improvement in their pet's overall health and well-being. Dental infections, which begin with the accumulation of yellow plaque, can easily spread through the bloodstream to heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, etc. causing other health problems. Antibiotics are often given after the dental procedure for this reason.
What can you do at home to control dental disease? Just as with our own mouths, regular toothbrushing with a product specifically for pets can go a long way to prevent the buildup of plaque and the ultimate need for professional dental care. It is never too late to begin a regular program of homecare. If you are unable to brush your pet's teeth, ask us about the many other products that help control plaque, including treats, chews, water additives and sealants. There is also a vaccine available for dogs prone to periodontal disease which can help prevent this problem or at least reduce its severity. Ask us if your pet would be a candidate for this vaccine.