Newport Hills Animal Hospital wants to provide the best possible dental care for your pet. Proper dental care is one of the most important areas of preventative medicine. 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 including internal infections, 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 gumline.
Dental x-rays using a human x-ray machine are utilized to examine teeth which are loose, broken, painful or show evidence of periodontal infection.
Extractions 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.
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.
Non-Anesthetic Dental Care For Your Pet:
We offer non-anesthetic dental cleaning for certain patients to be selected by the doctors for one of several reasons:
Pets who need regular removal of tartar on a periodic basis.
Pets that are a high anesthetic risk.
A dental cleaning without an anesthetic is a procedure designed for the removal of minor tartar buildup. It will not replace the need for dental cleanings with an anesthetic when heavy tartar, gum disease or periodontitis is present. For pets with periodontitis, we recommend a thorough dental cleaning with sedation followed by periodic cleanings without an anesthetic to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Dental cleaning without an anesthetic include the use of a hand scaler and curette as well as mechanical polishing.
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 the methods of daily dental care to help maintain your pet’s oral health. Please feel free to ask us for more information.