Oral & Dental Health

PictureAn often over-looked, but critical part of your pet's overall health care is dental care. A pet with an unhealthy mouth is an unhealthy pet. Years ago, we assumed that dogs had dirty, stained teeth and that their breath smelled, 'doggy'. Today, it is a known fact that a healthy mouth means clean, tartar-free teeth and a pleasant mouth odor. Animals with oral disease have mouth pain and they are more likely to suffer from diseases related to mouth bacteria.

Facts About Your Pet's Mouth

  • ALL pets need yearly mouth examinations
  • Bad breath is a sign of dental disease - your pet should be examined as soon as possible
  • Small breeds of dogs have the most problems with their teeth. Their teeth are crowded and can easily build up plaque.
  • 60% of disease is below the gum line - it can only be identified during a dental cleaning
  • Pets should have their teeth brushed at home
  • Pets need routine professional cleaning - this is done at the animal hospital
  • 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have dental disease by the time they are 3 years old!
  • Signs of dental disease: pain, excessive drooling, broken or loose teeth, bleeding gums, sores or wounds in the mouth or on the cheeks

Facts About Puppies and Kittens

  • Puppies and kittens need mouth exams to make sure their teeth are coming in properly. Misaligned teeth can cause problems.
  • Retained baby teeth need removal. This is done as soon as the adult teeth have come in.
  • Brushing at home can prevent a lifetime of dental problems.

Facts About Elderly Pets

  • Tooth loss can be prevented in older pets with proper, routine cleaning of teeth
  • Mouth disease is a cause of heart murmurs in older pets
  • Mouth disease can lead to kidney disease in older pets
  • Older pets may need prophylaxic dental care once or twice per year
  • Older pets need an ECG, blood pressure monitoring, and blood tests prior to any dental procedures.

Dental Services We Offer

  • The basis of all oral care is a thorough mouth examination performed by Drs. Erlichman or Shea
  • A comprehensive, individualized plan will be set up for your pet
  • Blood work is done prior to treatment
  • General anesthesia is required for dental work
  • Dental Prophylaxis: This preventive care is a thorough cleaning and polishing procedure available to pets with healthy mouths or mild problems. It helps to prevent severe oral problems, such as gingivitis and tooth loss. Your pet is placed under general anesthesia and the teeth are cleaned with an ultrasonic tip to remove tartar, the tissues below the gums are cleaned, and the teeth are polished. Dental prophylaxis may be needed up to twice per year for pets with a tendency to accumulate tartar
  • Dental Treatment : If your pet has disease in the mouth, gingivitis, an abscess, or broken or loose teeth, the doctors will recommend appropriate therapy to treat the problem. Treatment of abscesses or tooth extractions is performed under general anesthesia.