Pets should see their Veterinarian once yearly for a Professional Dental 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 start, we prepare your pet to have a safe trip through anesthesia. By that, we mean we perform 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 offer a variety of anesthetics, injectable and inhalant, that we can choose from to best suit your pet for their anesthetic 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 Professional 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 or 6 Month SANOS), 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 Professional Dental 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, abscesses at the root well below the gumline, resorptive lesions where the roots are actually dissolving away and bone is taking its place, etc. This is an important and vital step to any Professional Dental 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?
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