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Dental care is one of the most important preventive procedures that you can schedule for your pet. Eight in ten pets have problems with periodontal disease before the age of 3, according to the American Veterinary Dental Association. Periodontal disease not only causes bad breath and unsightly teeth (which owner’s see the most), but, more importantly, bacteria generated by this disease is released into the pet’s bloodstream and infects his/her internal organs. If your pet is experiencing difficulty chewing (or even not eating), red and swollen gums, excessive drooling or pawing at his/her mouth, please schedule a dental exam. As with us, infected teeth hurt!!!! Cats and Dogs are just better at hiding the pain.
Only Registered Veterinary Technicians perform the dental cleanings at VCA Cherokee Animal Hospital. Once your pet has the necessary bloodwork, ECG, and IV fluids hooked up, a very safe anesthesia is administered. The anesthesia is necessary to keep your pet still and comfortable during the cleaning.
Once anesthetized, the RVT removes the tartar buildup on the teeth. An ultrasonic scaler is then used to clean above the gumline, and a curette is used to clean below the gumline. Your pet’s teeth are then polished, creating a smooth surface that prevents future plaque and tartar buildup. Full mouth dental radiographs are taken to assess the root structure of the teeth that is not evident to the naked eye. The doctor does a thorough examination of the mouth and the radiographs to assess the health of the mouth and the possibility of additional dental work, such as extractions. Once this has all been completed, your pet’s teeth are washed with an anti-bacterial solution to help further prevent tartar buildup.
We encourage you to continue your pet’s dental routine at home. Oxyfresh, a water additive that aids in the prevention of plaque buildup on your pet’s freshly cleaned teeth, is sent home with all surgical dental patients. If requested, our staff can also show you how to properly brush your pet’s teeth and recommend treats and toys that promote good dental health.
Dental Digital Radiography
All of our surgical dental patients receive a full-mouth set of dental radiographs. We believe that these provide a foundation of better future dental care for your pet and, if needed, will allow us to better evaluate your pet’s current dental condition. Damaged roots that previously were left untreated because we simply could not “see” them are now being “seen” and treated appropriately. Before adding this valuable diagnostic tool to our arsenal, your pet could have left our office with painful tooth problems that we just did not know about. In addition to your pet’s pain (which is awful enough!), your wallet would take a later hit to fix this problem once the roots became exposed. Now we are able to diagnose and treat in just one visit.