Dental

Regular dental care is a must for your pet! Dental disease is the most common medical problem among adult dogs and cats. Bad breath, discolored teeth, red and swollen gums, and changes in eating habits can be signs of periodontal disease. Dental disease does not just affect the mouth. Bacteria and oral inflammation can lead to heart, kidney, and liver disease.

Many dental problems can be detected during a routine physical exam. We recommend regular dental cleanings or other oral treatments based on your pet’s condition. The use of anesthesia is necessary for any complete veterinary dental procedure as it allows our veterinarians and technicians to complete any needed procedures in the shortest period of time without causing your pet discomfort, stress or injury.

We realize you may feel anxious about the anesthesia needed to complete your pet’s dentistry procedure. At Family Pet Health Center, we routinely perform pre-anesthetic testing, utilize the most current anesthetic agents and equipment, and monitor heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, EKG, and body temperature during the entire dental procedure and recovery period.

We take your pet’s oral health seriously. We use human-grade scaling and polishing instruments, oral surgery instruments, and digital dental radiographs (x-rays) so that your pet receives the most safe, thorough dental cleaning possible.

 Your Pet’s Dental Cleaning

Your pet is admitted to the hospital on the morning of the scheduled procedure. Dental cleanings are performed throughout the morning and afternoon. When your pet is admitted for a professional dental visit, he or she goes through a series of procedures to make sure his / her teeth and gums are clean and healthy.

Your pet’s dental procedure begins with a thorough physical examination to evaluate his or her general health. After the physical exam, your pet is given an anesthetic for a safe and painless sleep during the procedure.

The first part of the cleaning involves removing tartar. This is accomplished with a combination of ultrasonic and hand-scaling. After the tartar is removed, each tooth surface is smoothed by hand prior to polishing.

After the teeth are clean, we perform another complete oral exam. Each tooth is examined separately. The gingival pockets are measured and recorded. Any abnormal gum tissue, inflammation, or oral growths are recorded.

We then obtain dental radiographs (x-rays). These highly detailed films allow us to examine each tooth root and the surrounding supportive structures (bone and periodontal ligament).

If any abnormalities are detected during the oral exam and dental radiographs, additional treatments may be necessary and are recommended. Oral surgery may be indicated to biopsy abnormal lesions or extract teeth. Antibiotic gel is sometimes infused around the teeth to encourage healing of the gums. In some instances, referral to a veterinary dental specialist may be offered or recommended.

After Your Pet’s Dental Cleaning

Your pet’s dental care doesn’t end at the hospital. Caring for your pet’s teeth at home is an important preventive measure that promotes good oral health and is a great way to bond with your pet. Our staff can demonstrate how to brush your pet’s teeth at home. Additionally, we can provide recommendations for pet foods and treats that promote oral health. Together, we can create a dental plan that keeps your pet’s smile bright and healthy!

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