“Pets have Teeth, Too®”. It may sound strange and weird to some folks, but our little furry friends need some special attention when it comes to their chompers. A healthy oral cavity can lead to an overall healthy pet as well as an unhealthy oral cavity can lead to serious health issues for dogs and cats alike. At Country Creek Animal Hospital, we’re happy and excited to educate our clients on their pet’s particular dental care needs. From consultation at the puppy, kitten, and annual wellness visits about teeth brushing and other at home dental care options, to routine dental (prophylaxis) cleanings and treatments, to oral surgery and tooth extractions, Country Creek Animal Hospital has the people, know-how, and tools to provide your pet with a lifetime of beautiful smiles and fresh breath.
At Home Dental Care Consultation
At Country Creek Animal Hospital, our team is dedicated to educated and equipping owners with the tools and knowledge necessary to provide the best oral care they can to their furry family members. From the time we start to see little puppies and kitties all the way up to adult and senior pets, At Home Dental Care should be a frequent and recurring part of your pet’s care. We can go over all your options for At Home Dental Care for your pet’s oral cavity. From brushing teeth, water additives, rinses, chews, and special diets, we have them all here for you to consider.
Routine Dental (Prophylaxis) Cleaning and Treatment
Pets should see their Veterinarian once yearly for a routine cleaning and oral examination starting at about age 2-3 years old. Some pets may need to see the veterinarian sooner if they have any malalignment to their chompers (overbite/underbite, etc) or are just unfortunately not blessed with good teeth.
Before the Oral Examination and Dental Procedure even starts, we prepare your pet to have a safe trip through anesthesia. By that, we mean we do an examination and evaluation of your pet the day of the procedure and include pre-operative labwork with the assessment to gauge liver/kidney function and other parameters important to anesthesia as it relates to your pet. We also place an intravenous catheter to deliver medications in case of an emergency and also start the pet on intravenous fluids during the procedure to maintain blood pressure and promote good circulation. Your pet is also fully monitored during the procedure for heart rate and electrical activity (ECG), respiratory rate and oxygenation (SPO2), blood pressure, and body temperature. We also a variety of anesthetics, injectable and inhalant, that we can choose from to best suit your pet for their anesthesia episode (not a one size fits all approach).
At Country Creek Animal Hospital, we actually practice veterinary dentistry; we don’t just clean teeth. By that, we mean that during the time of the dental cleaning (above and below the gumline ultrasonic scaling, above and below the gumline polishing, and application of a plaque prevention gel, OraVet® Gel by Merial), we also have a doctor perform a complete oral examination and chart the teeth for periodontal pocket depth, any gingivitis, missing teeth, crooked teeth, crowded teeth, etc).
In addition to this, every pet, every time it has a dental prophylaxis cleaning and treatment at Country Creek Animal Hospital gets full mouth dental x-rays. These allow us to examine the areas we can’t see, the area below the gumline. You would be amazed at how much really bad oral pathology we diagnose simply because we take the time to do x-rays at each dental procedure. We have diagnosed pets that seemed to have missing teeth with roots of the teeth still intact, pets with known previous extractions to have root tips left behind (very bad), abscesses at the root well below the gumline, resorptive lesions where the roots are actually dissolving away and bone is taking it place, etc, etc. This is an important and vital step to any Dental Prophylaxis Cleaning and Treatment. Think about it, Your Dentist takes x-rays of your oral cavity at least once a year, why would it be any different for your pet? Especially if they don’t have their teeth brushed every day?
Oral Surgery, Tooth Extractions, and Other Dental Procedures
At Country Creek Animal Hospital, if your pet is diagnosed with a major dental issue, we can usually perform the treatments here ourselves with the exception of a root canal. We can refer pets over to local veterinarians that specialize in dentistry/oral surgery or that have limited their practice to such procedures. If a client is not wanting to go as far as a root canal or have restoration performed on a tooth, then we can almost certainly perform any other treatments your pet may need.
Extractions in pets can sometimes be very straight forward and simple and other times be very labor intensive and require specialized equipment to perform them. Many people do not know that a fair number of cat and dog teeth are multi-rooted and (when extraction is required) cannot simply be “pulled” intact. Doing so is potentially dangerous and there would be an increased risk of leaving fragments of the roots behind if you did. We actually have to create a surgical flap in the gingiva, delicately drill away some of the bone to better expose the roots, then section the roots out, extract the roots out individually, smooth out the bone that remains, flush out the area where the tooth once was, possibly fill that with bone graft material, re-x-ray the area to make certain that the entire tooth has been extracted, then delicately suture the area close. That is how we safely extract a multi-rooted tooth to provide for the best outcome for the pet.
Other procedures that can be performed would removal of any excessive gingival (gingivectomy), placement of local antibiotic for deep pockets where extraction is not elected or warranted (Doxirobe® or ClindOral®) and application of a plaque prevention gel that lasts up to six months (Sanos® sealant).
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