Dental care is as important for our pets as it is for us. Fortunately, we now have a variety of dental products to help keep our pet’s teeth clean and their gums healthy. We carry a full line of dental products that are great for dental health as well as being great treats for your pets.
Some pets are prone to dental disease more than others due to genetics, diet, size of pet, and lack of desire to chew on products designed to clean their teeth mechanically. They may not want to chew even their dry food because loose teeth or diseased teeth make it painful to do so. Bi-annual and annual checkups are a great way to stay on top of your pet’s dental health so that problems can be taken care of before they cause serious disease or pain.
For more specific information about dental disease and dental health, you can go to www.vohc.org. This site has information and pictures of dental care.
Anesthesia-free dental procedures are, in general, not condoned by the veterinary profession and this hospital does not support this type of dental care for the following reasons:
- The most important reason to have dental procedures performed under anesthesia is to clean the area between the gum and the root of the teeth where periodontal disease is active. The surface of the tooth must be cleaned above and below the gum line. Removing it just on the visible surface does nothing to help maintain the health of the pet because there is still dental disease below the gum line. It is the tarter below the gum line that is a continual source of infection and the visible tarter will return faster using the unseen tarter as its expansion point.
- Patient evaluation by a trained veterinary is essential to using any type of sedative or anesthetic to ensure complete safety of the pet.
- Administration of these drugs by a non-veterinary is very dangerous as well as illegal.
- Antibiotics may be prescribed for the pet prior to the dental to improve the health of the gums and below the gum line so that when bacteria in the tarter is liberated by cleaning, it is less likely to cause systemic effects on other organs in the body.
- Dentals done under anesthesia eliminate pain and also allow for the protection of the airway and lungs from accidental aspiration since the pet is not jerking away suddenly during the procedure. Even slight head movement can cause injury to the oral tissue resulting in undue pain to the pet and possible infection of the gum tissue. Systemic infection can occur due to the introduction of bacteria from the dental instruments injuring the gingival surface.
- Dentals done under anesthesia allow a trained professional to do a thorough oral exam and identify and possibly remove any unusual masses before it is too late to do anything about them.
There are a large number of dental products now available for home dental care from teeth brushing products, products put in food that help remove tarter, products that are put in water and directly on the gums to keep the gums and teeth healthy and a vast array of dental chews to help remove and keep tarter off teeth and make teeth and gums more healthy, thus minimizing the need for dental scaling.