Does your pet have dental disease?
Many pet live with infected and painful teeth without showing any signs of discomfort. This is why regular dental exams are so important. If you have ever had a toothache, you know how badly they can hurt.
Signs of dental disease include:
- Avoids chewing on one side of the mouth
- Reluctant to eat hard food or stops chewing on hard treats
- Moves away when head or mouth is touched
- Bad breath
- Red gums
- Tartar visible on teeth
- Swelling on the face
- Infected teeth can also cause infections elsewhere in the body, including the heart, liver, kidneys, bladder, skin and joints.
A proper dental cleaning and exam will require general anesthesia. It is impossible to thoroughly clean the teeth and examine the mouth in an animal that is not sedated. We often find growths or sores in the mouth that would be missed without a thorough visual exam.
A dental exam is not complete without full mouth x-rays. Many pet teeth have roots bigger than the tooth itself, and the only way to examine the entire root is to take an x-ray. Pet x-rays are done the same way that you get x-rays when you go to the dentist, the problem is getting the pet to hold still – this is where anesthesia becomes necessary. We use the safest drugs available and provide constant monitoring while your pet is anesthetized in our clinic. In addition, all patients receive IV fluids, homeopathic support, laser therapy to enhance healing and pain management as needed. We will also advise you on proper diet and home dental care to help keep your pet’s mouth healthy after the procedure. See the video below for a first-hand look at a dental procedure at Belleview Animal Clinic.
What happens when I drop my pet off for dental cleaning?
First, a veterinarian evaluates the health of your animal and evaluates recent laboratory work to ensure that anesthesia is as safe as possible. Next, your animal is given a light sedative to relieve any anxiety and to ensure that induction to anesthesia is smooth. An IV catheter is placed to allow your animal to receive fluids under anesthesia. These fluids allow your animal to stay hydrated as well as to maintain adequate blood pressure while under anesthesia. Your animal is then placed under anesthesia. Blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate and body temperature are monitored regularly. Full mouth dental x-rays are taken to evaluate the tooth structure under the gum. Next the teeth are cleaned using an ultrasonic technology. The teeth are clean above and below the gum. Next a full oral examination is performed to find any gingival pockets, loose teeth, fractured teeth, abnormally colored teeth, masses or other abnormalities. Based on the findings of the x-rays and oral examination a treatment plan is created. This plan may include extraction of teeth, placement of antibiotic gel in gingival pockets, and mass removal. A veterinarian will then call you to discuss treatment options and associated costs. Together you will decide the best course of action for you and your pet. After the treatments are performed, your animal is recovered and at this time, we will call you and let you know that your animal is awake and well. We will also schedule a time for you to pick up your animal.