There are 4 stages of dental disease:
Stage 1: Gingivitis
Margin of attached gingiva (gums) is slightly inflamed and/or swollen. Plaque covers teeth. Infection is beginning. Treatment can reverse this condition.
Stage 2: Early Periodontitis
Entire attached gum is inflamed/swollen. Mouth is painful and infected. Professional treatment, followed by home dental care, can prevent this from becoming irreversible.
Stage 3: Moderate Periodontitis
Cherry red and bleeding, attached gums are being destroyed by infection and calculus (tartar). Sore, painful mouth may affect eating and behavior. Bad breath is present. Periodontal disease may become irreversible. Teeth may be loose and oral surgery may be necessary.
Stage 4: Advanced/Severe Periodontitis
Chronic bacterial infection is destroying the gums, teeth, and bone. Bacteria can be spread throughout the entire body via the bloodstream and may damage the kidneys, liver, and heart. Oral surgery is necessary.
Initial dental staging and treatment plans are based strictly on a visual examination. Please be aware that most dental disease lies below the gum line. We cannot be certain of the severity of your pet’s dental disease until your pet is anesthetized and we are able to probe and evaluate each individual tooth. Dental x-rays are necessary to further evaluate abnormal teeth/tissue. It is possible we may discover that the severity of your pet’s dental disease on the day of the dental is less than or greater than what were able to identify upon visual examination. Changes in the treatment plan may be required depending on results of diagnostics and/or findings.
***WHEN MAKING YOUR PET’S DENTAL APPOINTMENT***
Please do your best to schedule it on a day that you are available to be reached by phone so that we may
contact you immediately with any findings/updates. If we are unable to reach you, we will complete all procedures that our veterinarians deem necessary for your pet.
WHAT'S INVOLVED IN A DENTAL PROCEDURE?
We complete dental procedures Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays and will set up an admission appointment for your pet between 7:00 – 7:30 A.M. the day of the dental. Your pet is allowed to drink the morning of the procedure, but will need to fast (NO FOOD!) the night prior to the appointment. We strongly recommend that blood work be performed prior to anesthesia to ensure your pet is in optimal health for the procedure.
Your pet's safety is of utmost importance to us! Our veterinarian will examine your pet (even if examined the day before) just prior to starting anesthesia to make sure heart and lungs are healthy and will administer a pre-anesthetic pain injection to alleviate any discomfort. Patients are fitted with an IV catheter and placed on IV fluids. For the dental procedure, we sedate with a very short-acting injectable anesthetic and maintain them on a very safe, general gas anesthesia. All dental patients are closely monitored throughout the entire procedure by our highly trained technicians. Patients are also attached to an ECG heart and respiratory monitoring machine during the dental procedure. During the dental procedure, we will take full mouth diagnostic x-rays to look at root structure and determine necessary treatment. Each and every tooth is thoroughly evaluated, probed, cleaned, and polished. If oral surgery is necessary, we will provide additional pain medication to continue to alleviate any discomfort once home. Laser Therapy treatment will also be performed on gum tissue.
Young or old, the vast majority of pets will be able to go home the same day (usually between 4:00-7:00pm). Please allow 15-20 minutes when picking up your pet. We will go over the dental procedure, all medications, additional care procedures, and provide dental home care instruction at this time.
PREVENTIVE HOME DENTAL CARE
After your pet’s dental procedure, it is very important that you keep your pet’s teeth free of plaque (bacterial film) and prevent calculus (tartar) formation in order to control further disease development, but, just as in people, the very best way to maintain your pet's oral health is with routine dental cleanings (every 6 months) . Home care in the form of daily brushing, diets, chews, and treats can make a significant difference in your pet’s overall health and comfort in between dental cleanings. Remember, the more you do, the less will need to be done by our veterinarians.
Daily brushing remains the most effective way to decrease plaque and tartar formation. We recommend the CET toothbrush used with CET pet toothpaste. Human toothpaste should never be used since fluoride can be harmful to your pet. Brush ONLY the outside of your pet’s teeth, paying special attention to the gum line. Make this a FUN experience! Be happy and praise your pet! If brushing isn’t possible, there are other options!
The following dental products are available at our hospital:
⦁ Dog/CatToothbrushes and CET toothpaste (Daily Brushing is best!)
⦁ OraVet Canine Chews – helps control tartar and plaque build-up (Given daily)
⦁ Royal Canin Dental Diets for Dogs and Cats (Should consist of at least 50% of daily diet)
⦁ Maxi/Guard Oral Cleansing Gel for Cats and Dogs (Treatment daily)
Remember that there is no perfect chew toy for your pet. Supervision should be provided whenever your pet is given chew toys. A good rule to follow is that your dog should never chew on anything harder than its teeth. Nylon bones (“Nyla-bones”), natural bones, pig’s ears, cow hooves and ice cubes (and we must say rocks!) may lead to fractured teeth. Kong toys are firm rubber toys that are compressible and provide good chewing activity for your dog. We also recommend non-compressed rawhides for dogs (minimal calories and dogs usually love them!)
||Please visit www.AVDC.org for more information on pet dental care