Regular cleaning is vital. Early and regular dental treatment is much easier and cheaper than major dental surgery. Inflamed gums (gingivitis) and periodontal disease may lead to infection and disease in other internal organs like the heart and kidneys. Periodontal disease is irreversible and the end result is tooth loss. If dentistry is performed early enough to remove bacterial plaque and good dental hygiene is implemented, periodontal disease can be prevented.
When our vets and vet nurses perform dental checks we look at the degree of tartar accumulation and for the presence of gingivitis, periodontal disease and any broken teeth. We then advise you whether or not a dental is required, and what might help to prevent disease in the future.
Given that we are dealing with the sharp end of dogs, almost all dental procedures require a general anaesthetic.
Firstly, we assess the suitability of your pet for an anaesthetic. Your pet receives a full examination, and if necessary, a blood or urine test (which is mandatory for all animals seven years of age or older). These tests screen for kidney and liver disease, diabetes and anaemia.
Once your pet has been anaesthetised, their mouth is fully examined, and a dental chart is created. This chart records missing teeth, broken teeth which should be removed, and whether any periodontal disease exists. When we are not sure if a tooth requires extraction or not, x-rays will be taken to look at the roots of the teeth. We’ll then extract any loose, broken or diseased teeth. Some are so loose they require little effort to be removed, whereas others have multiple large roots and require a surgical procedure with the removal of bone with a high speed drill and stitching of the gum once the tooth is gone.
Procedures include tooth extractions, scaling and polishing. We will also give you advice on how to prevent any further dental problems.
Dental checks do not stop at cats and dogs, we have vets experienced in rabbit, guinea pig and rodent dentistry.