Because pets can’t brush their teeth, floss, or schedule a dentist appointment, their oral health can suffer. As much as 80% of dogs and cats are estimated to have dental disease by the age of three. This can cause them pain and discomfort, and make it difficult for them to enjoy eating.
As a pet owner, you have the power to avoid the pain of dental disease for your pet. For the dental care of dogs and cats, we recommend a multifaceted approach.
Dental examinations can be performed regularly during your pet’s annual wellness examination. The veterinarian will perform a thorough visual inspection of your pet’s teeth and gums to diagnose any dental disease that may be present. With this information, they can help design a treatment protocol.
In extreme cases of dental disease, an extraction might be performed for a tooth that is past saving. For this procedure, we will use every pain management technique appropriate, and safely anesthetize the animal.
For most pets, we recommend a professional cleaning to prevent rot, decay, and plaque from becoming more prevalent. This can be performed in our office with the use of an ultrasonic scaler. The pet must be sedated to perform a full cleaning, because if not it will be impossible for the veterinarian to treat the area below the gumline, where periodontal disease begins.
In addition to the above veterinary dental aids, at-home care is another important element of pet dental health. Tooth brushing is a popular option, but many dogs, and most cats, can be uncooperative for this technique. Thankfully, there are also many dental chews, toys, and treats available that can help prevent the build up of plaque between visits.