Dental disease is one of the most common problems in pets today. While homecare can prevent dental problems owners are often unaware that their pet’s teeth have problems until they come in for their check up, or their pet’s bad breath alerts them to problems.
So what is involved in getting your pets teeth cleaned?
Firstly, as we use much the same equipment as human dentists use, our patients are required to be anaesthetized as the noise of the drills and scalers let alone the feel of it in their mouths will not be tolerated by dogs, much less cats. So to minimise the stress for our patients they are given a light anaesthetic. However as older pets can have problems with renal or liver function we advise a pre-anaesthetic blood profile before any anaesthetic is given. We also use intravenous fluids to further minimise any risk with anaesthesia.
Once anaesthetised, a thorough dental examination is carried out and if necessary dental x-rays are taken. The next step is to carry out any treatments, such as scaling of any tartar and polishing the teeth to reduce plaque adhering to the teeth. In some case extractions may be necessary for those teeth too badly damaged to save. If extractions are necessary we perform a local nerve block just as your dentist would to minimise any post-operative pain and also the need for increased anaesthesia. Antibiotics will be administered at the time of the extractions. Once treatment is completed the mouth is rinsed with an antibacterial solution, the anaesthetic is turned off and additional pain relief is given if extractions have been performed.
Once your pet has fully recovered from the anaesthetic, usually 2-3 hours, they are sent home. A full dental care plan will be discussed with you when your pet is discharged.
Dental care plans range from special dental foods, additives to the water such as Healthy Mouth, including raw, soft bones in their diet or in some cases tooth brushing. Any pets that have had extractions will need a recheck after 7 days to make sure their gums have healed sufficiently to allow them to begin their dental care plan. As part of any dental care program we recommend 6 monthly checks of the teeth to ensure their dental care plan remains effective.