Dental disease is one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions in cats and dogs. Four out of five pets suffer from periodontal problems by age 3. Unfortunately, many pets have to wait years before their owners seek dental care for them. As bacteria in your pet’s mouth adhere to the teeth, invade under the gumline, and infiltrate the bloodstream, infections can lead to heart, kidney, and liver disease. Bacteria also eats away the jawbone and surrounding tissues, causing pain, infection, decay, and even jaw fractures. Preventive dental care is crucial to total-body health and can save your pet from many years of silent suffering with chronic pain.
Check out this video of Jack, where Dr. Man explains the importance of regular dental care:
How to provide preventive dental care for your pet
In every aspect of pet care, preventive medicine is the best medicine to help ensure your furry friend has a long, healthy life, and preventive dental care is no exception. In only a few days, plaque accumulation will harden into tartar, which will plaster itself to your pet’s teeth with the strength of cement. At this point, professional help is required to provide a deep ultrasonic cleaning and evaluate the oral health of your pet.
Spending time on a daily home-care routine is best to tackle your pet’s plaque and prevent tartar formation. Daily brushing is ideal in the battle against dental disease, but this routine can be a challenge, so consider dental health-care options to provide the maximum benefit for your pet. Search for items sanctioned by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC), which proudly display the VOHC seal of approval. Items proven to slow plaque and tartar accumulation include:
- Prescription dental diets
- Water additives
- Food additives
- Oral gels
- Oral wipes
- Dental sealants
- Oral sprays
Despite a pet owner’s best efforts, some pets are genetically predisposed to tartar accumulation and dental disease development. Preventive care is often not adequate to address more serious dental health concerns, leading to the necessity for advanced dental procedures.
Advanced dental procedures for pets
Many pet owners believe the only option for treating a diseased, misaligned, or damaged tooth is extraction, but advanced dentistry procedures can restore teeth previously written off as a lost cause. Advanced dental options include:
- Quality pain management — This is the first step in any dental procedure. Pets with an injured tooth feel the same excruciating pain that we do. In addition to substantial pain relief from your pet’s anesthetic protocol, we also administer local anesthesia. Local nerve blocks are designed to prevent any pain signal from traveling to the brain, eliminating your pet’s discomfort.
- Dental X-rays — With X-rays we can investigate beneath the tooth’s surface to identify problems. Without dental radiography, we cannot accurately diagnose lesions, masses, abscesses, tooth decay, diseased roots, or jaw fractures.
- Endodontic procedures — Such procedures are becoming more common for pets. One example is root canal therapy, which saves teeth that would previously have been extracted by removing infected pulp tissue, sterilizing the inside of the tooth, and filling it with a special material to prevent reinfection.
- Tooth restoration — Restoring a tooth, either with a filling or crown, provides the finishing touch after a root canal. Damaged, unstable, fragile teeth and roots benefit from restorative repair and allow your pet to chew and bite normally without discomfort.
- Oral surgery — Surgery encompasses a wide range of oral procedures, including tumor removals, extractions, and cleft-palate and fracture repair.
- Orthodontics — As for people, orthodontic treatment prevents and repairs malocclusions, or a misaligned bite.
Fortunately for our patients, we offer a variety of services designed to diagnose, repair, and restore oral health. Take a look at this video for an example:
Dental services offered by Boca Midtowne Animal Hospital
Our hospital offers a variety of dental services to provide top-notch care for your beloved pet, without the need for a trip to a dental specialty hospital. Our dental services with our in-house dental expert include:
- Oral examination
- General dentistry
- Digital dental X-rays
- Probing and charting
- Tooth removal
- Restorative dentistry
- Oral surgery
- Fractured teeth repair
- Tumor removal
- Fractured jaw repair
- Trauma treatment
Does your pet need an oral health evaluation? Schedule an appointment with our team to see to all your pet’s oral health-care needs.