Village Veterinary Practice Dental Services
Did you know that 80% of dogs and cats over 3 years of age have some degree of dental disease? Pets have similar development and progression of tooth decay as we do. After each meal, plaque – a sticky film composed of bacteria – will build up on the tooth surface. If plaque is not removed, it will continue to accumulate on the tooth and harden into tartar. This process leads to gingivitis (inflammation of the gum tissue) and eventually will progress into periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is painful. Gums will become swollen, tender and may bleed. The surrounding tissues of the tooth will recede and weaken which leads to tooth loss. Dental disease can also compromise the function of your pet’s internal organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys.
Dogs and cats should have a professional dental cleaning before the onset of periodontal disease. We will recommend a dental cleaning for your pet when tartar and gingivitis becomes apparent. Our goal is to perform a dental cleaning when it’s just that – a cleaning of the teeth which will return the gum tissue to a normal, healthy state. Otherwise if gingivitis and periodontal disease progress, your pet’s dental procedure becomes much more complex with increased anesthesia time and oral surgery.
Village Veterinary Practice uses the same dental techniques and equipment that your dentist uses on you. However, a proper professional dental cleaning for an animal cannot be performed without the use of general anesthesia. General anesthesia allows for a thorough, safe and stress free procedure.
During anesthesia your pet’s blood pressure, heart rate, heart rhythm, temperature, blood oxygen saturation and breathing pattern will be closely monitored and recorded. All patients will have an IV catheter placed and receive intravenous fluids throughout the procedure to maintain proper blood pressure and flow.
Once your pet has had all the necessary pre-anesthetic work up, a general anesthetic will be administered and the teeth will be cleaned and polished by one of our Certified Veterinary Technicians. After all the teeth have been cleaned, your pet’s veterinarian will do a thorough exam of each individual tooth and oral cavity.
Dental radiographs are an essential diagnostic tool in dentistry. Much of the tooth lies under the gum. The only way to evaluate the root structure and supportive bone is by x-ray. The use of x-ray helps your pet’s veterinarian determine if a tooth is healthy below the gum, or if the tooth is diseased and needs to be extracted. In the event that a tooth needs to be extracted, a local nerve block will be used to help your pet wake up pain free. General pain medication will also be used both in the hospital and sent home to keep your pet comfortable.
The key to good oral health for your pet is a combination of home dental care and timely dental cleanings here at Village Veterinary Practice. There are several options for at home dental care and together we will discuss these options to find out what’s right for your family! Contact us today to start a conversation.