doberman_teethbrushingThe Staff at Newport Hills Animal Hospital wants to provide the best possible medical care for your pet. Proper dental care is one of the most important areas of preventative medical care. Diseases involving the mouth occur in over 90% of dogs and cats by 3 years of age if there is not regular care of the teeth and gums.

Signs and symptoms of poor dental health include the following:

  • Persistent, foul mouth odor
  • Inflamed gums (redness, swelling or tenderness)
  • Plaque formation
  • Tartar formation
  • Bleeding gums
  • Loose or infected teeth
  • Mouth pain

The Importance Of Regular Dental Care

Imagine how your teeth would look and feel if you didn’t brush them regularly. Now imagine what would happen if you never brushed them at all. You would have severe gum problems, foul breath,
dental tartar and the loss of teeth. Uncontrolled dental disease can lead to health problems in other parts of the body including internal infection, heart and kidney disease, weight loss and loss of appetite.

Anesthesia and Dentistry

A thorough cleaning of the teeth requires general anesthesia. We use the safest anesthetic protocol possible for each particular case. In our effort to offer the most recent advances in veterinary medicine, we use Sevoflurane for dogs and Isoflurane for cats for the induction of anesthesia. These human anesthetics approved for use in pets allow us to avoid using injectable anesthetics, which have prolonged effects and narrower safety margins. All patients’ heart rates and respiratory rates are monitored with a pulse oximeter during every procedure.

Blood Test And Urinalysis

We require that all pets over 5 years of age have a current blood test and urinalysis prior to any anesthetic procedure. This is done in an effort to make the anesthetic procedure as safe as possible for your pet as well as to alert the doctor to any additional needs your pet may have prior to the procedure.

Cleaning and Examination

All surfaces of the teeth are cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler or scaled by hand. The mouth, including the teeth, tongue, gums and throat are examined for abnormalities. Abnormal teeth with evidence of periodontitis are examined for pockets beneath the gum line.

X-rays

Dental x-rays using a human dental x-ray machine are utilized to examine teeth which are loose, broken, painful, or show evidence of periodontal infection.

Extractions

Extraction of diseased teeth is sometimes necessary to control infection and to remove painful teeth. The decision to remove a tooth is based on both visual and x-ray examination.

Medications

All pets with periodontal disease need to be on oral antibiotics for 14-28 days. All pets, requiring extractions need to be on oral antibiotics for 7 days following the procedure. For those pets requiring extractions, pain medication is given at the time of the procedure and also sent home if additional pain control is necessary.

In Conclusion……

Routine dental care is a crucial part of your veterinarian‘s plan of preventative medicine for your pet. There are certain steps we can take to ensure that our pets remain healthy and happy. A simple examination by your veterinarian can determine whether or not your pet needs a dental cleaning at this time. Your veterinarian can also instruct you in methods of daily dental care to help maintain your pet’s oral health. Please feel free to ask us for more information.