Although at first glance it may seem like cleaning your pet’s teeth is little more than a costly attempt to get rid of the dog breath that tackles you with every kiss from your four legged friend, yet nothing could be farther from the truth. As it turns out, not only is dental health important for our pets comfort and quality of life, it is important for their overall health.
Essentially, when that “goo” that we call plaque and calculus builds up on your pet’s teeth, it results in infection and loss of the neighboring gum tissue and bone. It is an infection that you cannot get rid of with antibiotics and only gets worse with time.
Imagine if you never brushed your teeth, never flossed, and to top it all off, ate some of the unsavory things that we all know our pets enjoy! Don’t forget to chew on bones and sticks that you found in the backyard. Now, wait seven years before you go to see the dentist. This is a year in the life of a dog. In the case of our feline friends, they commonly have a condition that actually results in painful holes in their teeth that can go unrecognized for years. You and I have a voice that can exclaim “ouch, that hurts” but a dog or cat may just choose to go take a nap to take their mind off the soreness.
In order to ensure your pet’s mouth remains healthy and comfortable, we recommend an oral exam and dental cleaning once a year. Often, as many pets have never had dental care, the first time we see a pet there is a lot of treatment necessary, potentially including extractions and deep root cleaning. However, just like in our own mouths, if we can perform regular maintenance (ie cleanings), we can often keep a pets mouth healthy throughout their lifetime! If you have even had a tooth ache, you can imagine what a relief that is!
Rice Creek Animal Hospital provides the same type of care you have come to expect from your own dentist:
- Thorough and complete oral exams
- Intra-oral radiographs (x-rays just like the ones that are taken by your dentist in a digital format so we can easily send them to veterinary dentists for further consultation if needed)
- Professional dental cleanings (otherwise known as a dental prophylaxis)
- Simple (meaning one rooted) and surgical extractions
- Periodontal care (deep root cleaning and placement of medicated gels to reduce gum pockets)
- Tumor biopsies and removals
Just ask our own dog, Cody, how grateful he was to have his broken front tooth fixed after he tried to catch an errant bocce ball! Yowch!