Could you imagine not brushing your teeth for years at a time?! Unfortunately, this is oftentimes the case for many dogs and cats. National Pet Dental Healthy Mouth began in February and we are continuing it through March. Our ultimate goal is to raise dental health awareness and clean one mouth at a time.
Brushing teeth is of utmost importance. After eating, the bacteria left on teeth converts to plaque every 24 hours. If not brushed daily, this plaque will continue to grow, eventually leading to more serious consequences. Brushing can be done quite easily when pets are properly trained. Animal- specific toothpastes are available, since the human grade toothpastes are not safe for your pet.
Unfortunately, smaller breed dogs are more prone to dental disease than larger breeds. Cats have their own teeth problems to consider. With all that being said, the best way to prolong the need for a dental cleaning is routine brushing starting from the first day you bring your pet home. But please remember, it is never too late to start!
At some point while visiting us, you may have heard, “I think your pet can benefit from a dental procedure.” This procedure is much like what we receive when we visit our own dentists. Unfortunately, pets tend to wiggle and will not keep their mouths open making anesthesia a requirement. To be sure that each animal is healthy enough for a dental cleaning, we at Pennsauken Animal Hospital require blood work. Careful anesthesia monitoring by a dedicated and trained technician helps us ensure that your pet is in the best hands possible from the moment of the dental exam to well after they wake up with sparkling white teeth.
Once we have recommended a dental cleaning, we will provide a dental treatment plan for your pet. Here is what your pet’s treatment plan will include:
- A complimentary general exam prior to anesthesia
- Pre-anesthetic bloodwork and IV fluids during the procedure alongside a dedicated technician monitoring anesthesia
- Full mouth dental radiographs to assess below the gumline for teeth abnormalities
- Removal of large calculus (plaque) on teeth
- Subgingival (below the gumline) scaling and assessment of teeth
- Teeth polishing and irrigation of the mouth
- A post-cleaning exam is also performed
- When indicated, extractions of unhealthy teeth are performed
- Pain medications and sometimes antibiotics to give at home
- A healthy smile from your pet when you pick them up!
Among the many benefits of a dental cleaning, halitosis (bad breath) is commonly resolved. Teeth that are loose or broken causing pain are removed. Teeth in poor condition serving as sources of infection are removed resulting in overall better health. If you are interested in learning more about dental disease, please ask us or visit the website for the American Veterinary Dental College (www.avdc.or5g).