How do I know if my pet needs an anesthetic dental?
A Registered Veterinary Technician evaluation will assess recent doctors exam, bloodwork within 3 months, the possibility of extractions, whether pet is high caution/bite risk, or needs painful deep scaling and determine if anesthetic dental is necessary.
Not cleaning your pet's teeth can lead to deep cleanings and tooth extractions?
Tartar buildup is a result of bacterial infection in the mouth, which causes irritation of the gums around the base of the teeth (gingivitis), resulting in exposure of the roots. Ultimately this leads to infection and tooth loss. Infected gums and teeth aren't just a problem in the mouth -- the heart, kidneys, intestinal tract, and joints may also be affected. The tartar and any infected areas of the mouth contain a multitude of bacteria than can 'seed' to other parts of the body. What might even be worse is the strain on many body systems that chronic inflammation causes. With regular dental care, you can prevent some of these more serious side effects.
If tartar is allowed to remain on the teeth, several things may happen:
- It will push the gums away from the roots of the teeth allowing the teeth to loosen in their sockets and infection to enter the root socket. The teeth will loosen and fall out or have to be extracted. FYI: Dogs start out with 28 deciduous (baby) teeth, cats start out with 26 deciduous teeth. By six months of age, these baby teeth fall out and are replaced by permanent teeth, 42 in a dog and 30 in a cat.
- Infection will accumulate in the mouth, resulting in gingivitis, tonsillitis and pharyngitis (sore throat). Antibiotics may temporarily suppress the infection, if the tartar is not removed from the teeth, infection will return quickly.
- Infection within the mouth will be picked up by the blood stream and carried to other parts of the body. Kidney infections, as well as infection involving heart valves, frequently begin in the mouth.
What are some signs of dental disease?
The following are signs that your pet may have a problem in his mouth or gastrointestinal system and should be checked by a veterinarian:
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling
- Inflamed gums
- Swelling in the gums
- Cysts under the tongue
- Loose teeth
What is done during this procedure?
Anesthetic Dental: Pre-dental blood work is required. This is a check on the overall health of the pet to make sure that liver, kidneys, and blood counts are within normal ranges to reduce any risks possible prior to the anesthesia.
With this procedure there are many possible steps in the cleaning process according to the health of your pet:
- Deep Scaling: removes tartar above and below the gum line.
- Flushing or Rinsing: removes dislodged tartar from teeth and helps to remove the bacteria that accompany tartar.
- Possible Extractions: removal of teeth that are deeply destroyed or cracked.
- Polishing: smoothes the surface of the teeth making them resistant to additional plaque formation.
- Fluoride: coating decreases teeth sensitivity strengthens enamel and decreases the rate of future plaque formation (done with anesthetic dentals).
What can you do at home to maintain your pet’s dental health and possibly avoid deep scaling?
Brush your pet’s teeth. Get a toothbrush made especially for pets or a clean piece of soft gauze to wrap around your finger. Ask your vet for toothpaste made especially for animals or make a paste out of baking soda and water.
Chew toys can satisfy your dog’s natural desire to chomp, while making his teeth strong. Gnawing on a chew toy can also help massage his gums and help keep his teeth clean by scraping away soft tartar.
Does the kind of food I feed my pet help or hinder the health of their teeth?
We have been told by pet food companies over the years that feeding dry kibble is a great way to prevent dental disease. This is exactly the same as your dentist telling you to eat Grape Nuts Cereal every day and your teeth will be in great health without the need to brush. Simply a myth.
There are many misconceptions about tartar buildup in dogs and cats. Diet is probably much less important than most people think. Because dry food is not as sticky as canned food, it does not adhere to the teeth as much and thus, does not cause tartar buildup as rapidly. However, eating dry food does not remove tartar from the teeth. Once tartar forms, a professional cleaning is necessary. One of the main factors determining the amount of tartar buildup is the individual chemistry in the mouth.
Products we stock for in home dental maintenance?
- Dentahex - Oral rinse
- Dentahex Oral Chews (petite, small, medium, large)
- Enzadent Dual-End Toothbrush
- Enzadent Finger Brush Kit
- Enzadent Toothpaste
- Enzadent Oral Chews (feline)
- Plaque Off – From a special seaweed found north of Sweden that has a biofilm on it that prevents bacteria from adhering to it.
- Ziwipeak Deer Antlers