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Why does my pet need dental care?
Your pet's dental health is as important to his or her overall health as your dental health is to your general health.
Dental care of dogs and cats is a commonly overlooked area of pet health care. Approximately two-thirds of pet owners do not provide the dental care recommended by veterinarians. Up to 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of dental disease as early as age 3. Dental disease can lead to more serious health problems including heart, lung and kidney disease.
What is involved in "a dental" for my pet?
Dental work for your pet starts with a thorough oral exam. The degree of periodontal disease is assessed, problem teeth are identified, and then cleaning the teeth by removing plaque and tartar is performed using dental tools very much like your dentist uses on you. If plaque and tartar buildup is not removed it will spread below the gum line causing an infection that will break down the tissues around the teeth leading to erosion of the tooth socket causing loose and painful teeth. Problem teeth very often need to be removed. Remaining teeth are polished to help slow the plaque from building up again.
Will my pet be put on anesthesia for their teeth cleaning?
A basic oral examination can be performed on most patients that are awake. However, anesthesia is required in order to provide a complete and thorough examination as well as dental cleanings and tooth extractions. Greenwich Bay Animal Hospital does recommend pre anesthetic blood work to assure that your pet is healthy enough to be put under anesthesia.
Will my pet need to have teeth extracted?
Depending on the degree of dental disease teeth may need to be removed. Most pets do very well without their teeth and will not experience any difficulty eating their normal diet.
Is the procedure painful?
Patients are given injectable pain meds before the procedure. Complicated extractions are preceded by local nerve blocks and most pets are sent home with pain meds to be given for a few days after.
Can I avoid having to put my pet through this procedure?
Home dental care can be key in minimizing the need for very involved dental procedures and maximizing the amount of time between cleanings. We have toothpaste and brushes designed for cats and dogs as well as treats available to help remove plaque before it turns to tartar. If you are noticing bad breath or your pet seems to be experiencing difficulty eating please call to schedule an exam.