Teeth are used for more than just chewing. Your pet will use their mouth similar to how you would use a hand – so if you think about it, their teeth function similarly to a set of fingers.
Did you know that dog breath is not supposed to be smelly?
Did you know that cats suffer from many unique dental diseases which cause severe, and sudden pain?
Dental health in our pet’s is so important – not only is dental disease painful, but it has been shown to leech bacteria into the bloodstream and cause infection of the liver and the heart. Having said that, the vast majority of our pet cats and dogs suffer from periodontal disease.
How can we help you?
All oral health assessments start with a good conversation between you and the vet – we’ll be interested to know what you’re feeding them, chewing habits and any previous dental concerns or health conditions.
An examination of the mouth is up next. If your pet will allow it (if not, no problem! We have loads of options to get around unruly pets), we will lift back the lips and have a good look at the mouth – are the gums red or pink, are the teeth worn or fractured? At best, approximately 30% of the mouth can be assessed in this manner. We can’t measure the gum attachments of the teeth, examine the inside surface of the teeth or assess tooth root health.
If we suspect any oral health concerns, the next step is for your pet to spend the day in the hospital with us to have an examination under anaesthesia. At this time, your pet will have a full set of dental x-rays to assess for common hidden problems such as abscesses, root fractures and impacted teeth. The gums are examined and measured, all findings are charted in your pet’s dental record.
Where to from here really depends on what is found during your pet’s oral health assessment.
Is there overcrowding?
This can compromise larger, more important teeth, and so we may advise prophylactic extraction.
Is there a chipped tooth?
A filling can be applied onto the chipped tooth to help protect it from infection and pain.
Has your adult pet still got their baby teeth?
These can cause adult teeth to push in the wrong directions, or trap food due to overcrowding, and it is best they are removed.
In addition to all of this, your pet will have their teeth cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler (just like you), and finally, they will be polished.
But that’s not where it ends. This is only the beginning. Now that your pet’s mouth is feeling comfortable and has returned to a healthy state – the race is on until the plaque reforms. From here, we will formulate an at-home dental care plan unique for you and your pet to minimise the impact of dental disease on their quality of life.