Dental care is an important part of your pet’s veterinary wellness plan at Animal Care Center. The protocol for maintaining health and vigor in dogs and cats includes regular oral exams, periodic teeth cleaning, and a home care routine. Every pet deserves the basic preventive measures offered by our dental care program.
Digital dental X-rays offer the most detailed images of your pet’s teeth and bones. This enhanced imaging technology allows us to identify problem spots early for observation, preventive measures, or immediate action if necessary. These images are viewed on a computer screen and offer the detail necessary to detect abnormalities that cannot be seen in a simple examination.
THE DENTAL EXAM
We perform thorough dental exams and teeth cleaning under anesthesia, for the safety and wellbeing of our patients. Our dental cleaning package includes anesthesia, a comprehensive oral exam, and deep cleaning and polishing. Dental services also include tooth extractions and oral surgery, as needed.
Periodontal disease is the most common ailment in dogs and cats over four years old. It leads to pain and tooth loss, and the resulting bacteria can spread throughout the body and damage the heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver.
Periodontal disease affects the visible part of the tooth, the root, and the gum tissue. When plaque and food debris form into calculus or tartar, gum tissue becomes inflamed in a condition known as gingivitis. Untreated gingivitis damages bone and surrounding tissue, causing abscesses and tooth loss.
Endodontal disease affects the internal structure of the tooth and may require surgery or tooth extraction. A tooth can be fractured at any stage of life from chewing, decay, or during accidents. Cracked or broken teeth can be quite painful, especially when the nerves are affected. We take immediate action in these cases, to eliminate suffering and prevent further complications such as systemic infection.
MANAGEMENT BY BREED
Certain dogs and cats have dental concerns exclusive to their breed. We understand the complexities of these issues and tailor our dental care program to the needs of each pet breed.
Small breed dogs tend to have more dental problems. In breeding dogs to be smaller, problems of tooth size have surfaced. Recent findings indicate certain breeds are more at risk for dental disease, including:
- Toy poodle
- Yorkshire terrier
- Shetland sheepdog
- Cavalier King Charles spaniel
- Standard poodle
Some cat breeds have more problems with dental disease, as well. Periodontal disease is more severe or progresses more rapidly in Maine coon, ragdoll, and oriental breeds.
HOME DENTAL CARE
Start your pet’s home dental care regime with help from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). You may also enjoy this video How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth and the comprehensive article Ten Steps to Cat Dental Health from WebMD Pet Health.