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A predental workup involves laboratory and diagnostic tests to better evaluate a pet's current health status and to assure safe anesthesia. Current medical problems must be evaluated and any possible unknown problems must be identified prior to veterinary dentistry.
For otherwise healthy young animals, we suggest a brief in-hospital blood screen on the day of the dentistry. For older animals, a complete blood count (CBC) and blood chemistry profile (SMA20) is taken at least one day prior to the dentistry. A preoperative electrocardiogram (EKG) or ultrasound may be suggested in certain circumstances.
Your pet's dental cleaning will begin with a physical examination. This is important to evaluate your pet's general health. After the physical exam, your pet is given an anesthesia for a safe and painless sleep during the dental cleaning.
The first part of dental cleaning requires the removal of tartar. This is done with a hand scaler.
Next, a periodontal probe checks for pockets under the gumline where periodontal disease and bad breath starts. A mechanical scaler is used to clean above the gumline while a curette cleans and smoothes the teeth under the gumline in the crevice.
Your pet's teeth are polished, creating a smooth surface. The gums are washed with an anti- bacterial solution to help delay tartar build-up both under the gumline and on the crown of the tooth.
Finally, a fluoride treatment is applied to strengthen your pet's teeth, to desensitize exposed roots, and to decrease infection.
Dental care for your pet does not end with a visit to your Randolph, Braintree, and Stoughton area veterinarian. You need to continue your veterinarian's good work at home. Brushing your pet's teeth is an important part of home dental care. The staff at Randolph Animal Hospital will show you the proper method of brushing your pet's teeth.
Annual veterinary dental care and home dental care will help keep your pet's breath fresh and gums and teeth healthy. Your pet's smile and healthier life will be equaled by your smile and pride in a job well done.
During the first year, your pet should have its teeth checked at all puppy and kitten examinations, at the time of spaying or neutering and after the examination for any retained "baby teeth" (which is performed at six months).
Your pet should have an annual checkup for dental health when it receives its yearly booster vaccines.
Cavities are not as common in pets, but do occur occasionally. Frequently in cats "subgingival caries" may form, when the gum lines have receded excessively, exposing the dentin layer that is much softer than enamel.
The most common cause of bad breath is excessive tartar deposits on the teeth. Bacteria feed and live in the tartar and produce offensive odors. Tartar is a crusty collection of food particles, minerals, and bacteria that forms at the tooth/gum borders. However, metabolic diseases such as kidney disease, diabetes, etc. can also produce halitosis.
Yes. As tartar accumulates at the gum line, it causes gum recession and inflammation or "gingivitis". This allows bacteria in the tartar to infect and loosen the base of the tooth, causing periodontal disease. In pets, periodontal disease may lead to an infection of the heart (endocarditis) and/or of other organs, as also may occur in people. Inflammation of the gums and infection of the teeth can cause your pet considerable pain, and his/her appetite and general attitude may deteriorate.
Feed your pet a well-balanced, commercial diet. Brushing the teeth is an excellent way to check tartar build-up, though once hard plaque has developed, your pet may require dentistry. Brushing with C.E.T., a flavored toothpaste designed for pets, 2-3 times weekly, discourages tartar build-up.
For dogs, Booda bones, Nylabones, or large rawhide chew toys are also helpful as preventatives and also aid in stimulation of the gums. If your pet does not let you brush the teeth, you may use one of the pre-made mouthwashes e.g. Nolvadent. Alternatively, if you cannot provide maintenance, you may need to have us perform full dental scaling and polishing on a more frequent basis.
Dentistry is required when hardened tartar deposits have occurred and/or when periodontal disease is present. It is also required when substantial mouth odor exists, which indicates infection or decay even if it is not readily apparent.
This depends on diet, dental alignment, amount of gum recession that has already occurred, and future care of your pet's teeth. Smaller breeds tend to develop tartar much more quickly; in most cases this is a genetic predisposition and not something the owner can readily modify. However, the degree to which the owner provides ongoing dental prophylaxis heavily influences the outcome!
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