Did you know that 85% of all pets over 3 years of age have periodontal disease?
Regular pet teeth cleaning is important to maintaining your pet’s dental and overall health. Dental prophylaxis prevents bad breath, gum infections, tooth loss and serious heart, lung and kidney disease. We use a modern and safe ultrasonic scaler to clean each tooth thoroughly – above and below the gum line. Dental technicians polish teeth to create a smooth, lustrous tooth surface more resistant to plaque build-up. Fluoride treatments help strengthen enamel and reduce tooth sensitivity.
If necessary, referral for advanced dental care is available, including root canals, caps and braces.
Please take a look at some of our “Before”and “After” pictures of pet dental cleanings done in our hospital.
Veterinary Intraoral Radiographs (dental X-rays) for Pets
Veterinary intraoral radiographs are the best way to image a dog or cat’s teeth and most areas of the jaw bones. These dental radiographs are the same as what you would have taken when you are at the dentist. The dental film / radiographic sensor is placed in the mouth and then an image can be obtained. Since the film/sensor has to be placed in the mouth and the patient must be very still, intra-oral radiographs for pets must be obtained under general anesthesia.
This particular pet (image left) had 2 teeth that were fractured and causing pain underneath the gum line. We were able to extract those teeth and relieve the pain.
Without dental radiographs a full assessment of the health of your pet’s teeth cannot be completed. More than 50 percent of a dog or cat tooth’s surface area (tooth root) is below the gum line and is therefore not visible to the naked eye. This is where veterinary dental radiographs come in and provide the veterinary dentist the following information about a pet’s dental condition:
Often radiographs can identify dental disease processes that effect primarily or only the root and it’s supporting bone. Important pathology can be present that is not apparent from the oral exam.
Intra-oral Radiographs are essential for monitoring the progress of many previous dental and oral surgical procedures.
As part of a “complete oral exam”, full mouth radiographs are recommended for all of our patients.
Most of our pets’ (cats and dogs) are carnivores and therefore their root structures are complex and deep into the surrounding bone. Surgical approaches for extractions are the most efficient and safest means of tooth extractions for pets. Many roots are fragile and closely located to other important anatomical structures like major blood vessels, nerves, nasal cavity and even the eye. Roots must be completely removed and the surrounding bone must also be treated.
Situations where extractions of pet teeth are appropriate include:
Periodontal disease has left the teeth unstable (due to the loss of bone and other supportive structures) and periodontal surgery or procedures would be ineffective in improving the health of a tooth. These teeth are often already loose.
Fractured or abscessed tooth where an endodontic procedure or root canal is not appropriate or cost and follow-up care are concerns.
When removing a smaller less important tooth will make a more important tooth more stable and prevent worsening periodontal disease associated with these teeth. These important teeth include: canine tooth (fang), maxillary fourth premolar (big tooth in the upper jaw) and mandibular first molar (big tooth in the lower jaw).
At-Home Pet Dental Care Tips
Pet teeth cleaning at home is very important when possible. Our technicians will be happy to demonstrate how to properly brush your pets teeth. If this is not feasible, we have other products like C.E.T. Dental Chews that most pets love!!!
Don’t use a human toothbrush – The brush is too hard and can cause damage to the gums.
Do try using just a toothbrush without any toothpaste first to see if you pet will tolerate brushing. A finger toothbrush is often the easiest one to start with.
Don’t consider home dental care as an alternative to a full dental cleaning.
Do try to brush your pet’s teeth once daily.
Preventative Dental Health Products
Here is a complete list of the recommended products to help promote oral hygiene. All products are available for purchase at Central Houston Animal Hospital.
Dental Treats – CET HEXTRA Chews (Petite, Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large)