Let’s talk oral hygiene!
Center Veterinary Hospital is proud to say that we are fully equipped with a brand new, state-of-the-art, dental suite with new, high quality dental equipment. Dr. Gerard and her staff have a passion for pet dental care! Did you know that dogs and cats need their teeth brushed and cleaned just as much as humans do? Yet oftentimes, pet dental care is pushed to the wayside and forgotten about. We believe in educating owners about the importance of dental care in their pets!
Why do I need to care about my pet’s teeth?
Clean teeth is important, not only for preventing bad breath, but also for improving the quality of life of your fur-baby. Humans, hopefully, brush their teeth at least twice a day and visit the dentist annually to semi-annually. We know the importance of taking care of our teeth and most of us know how it feels when we have either a cavity, broken tooth, or sore gums. Dogs and cats can also feel this pain, however, they are unable to communicate their pain to us directly and since many owners don’t brush their pet’s teeth, dental problems can go unnoticed for years. Additionally, the bacteria that builds up on your pet’s teeth can travel throughout their entire body. If your pet is older or already has a pre-existing condition that may compromise their immune health (such as kidney disease), then your fur-baby is even more susceptible to the harmful effects of bacteria in their body.
How do I start maintaining my pet’s teeth?
Your veterinarian will start with an oral exam. If your pet is very young, then starting with at-home teeth brushing and incorporating some dental treats or water additives would be an appropriate first step. Be sure to consult your veterinarian on the products you should use, and always use a pet-friendly toothpaste that does NOT contain fluoride!
If your pet’s teeth have a large amount of tartar (hardened dental plaque that accumulates with lack of tooth brushing), if they have a broken tooth, or if they have inflamed gums (gingivitis), then your veterinarian may recommend a professional dental cleaning. Read on to learn more.
What is a professional dental cleaning?
A professional dental cleaning is different than the regular tooth brushing that you do at home. For this procedure, your pet will be put under anesthesia and monitored closely by one of our trained assistants as well as our veterinarian. X-rays will be taken of your pet’s oral cavity and these x-rays will be reviewed by the veterinarian. X-rays allow us to see the tooth roots and fully assess the health of each tooth in detail. A trained assistant will professionally clean all teeth with our dental scaler. After this, the veterinarian will assess each tooth on your pet and notate any teeth that raise concern. Now, the veterinarian will extract any teeth that diseased and causing the pet discomfort. You will be made aware of these extractions beforehand and your approval will be required in order to make any extractions. We do numb the area and provide pain relief to help your pet be as comfortable as possible during and after the extraction. Next, the trained assistant will polish your pet’s teeth and treat with a fluoride rinse. As a finishing step, we will cover each tooth with Oravet which helps to keep bacteria and tartar off and maintain your pet’s dental work for a longer period of time.