Airpark Animal Hospital is proud to be accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the only organization that accredits veterinary hospitals in the United States and Canada on over 900 quality of care standards.
AAHA recommends that veterinarians perform regular dental examinations and cleanings under anesthesia for all dogs and cats beginning at one year of age and continuing annually throughout your pet’s life.
Proper dental care can detect dental disease that not only affects the mouth, but can also lead to more serious health problems such as heart, lung, and kidney disease.
All pets will develop some degree of dental disease during their life. In fact, dental disease is the most common health problem diagnosed in pets. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, approximately 70% of cats and 80% of dogs will show signs of dental disease by the time they reach three years of age.
Most cases of dental disease start with the accumulation of bacteria-containing plaque and tartar on the animal’s teeth. Over time, the disease will progress, often leading to severe gum disease, oral abscesses, and tooth loss. There is also evidence that poor dental health may contribute to disease in other organs, such as the heart, liver, and kidneys.
SIGNS OF DENTAL DISEASE
Some of the most common signs of dental disease in pets include:
• Halitosis (bad breath)
• Visible plaque and tartar accumulation on the teeth
• Red and inflamed gums
• Pain and/or bleeding when the gums are touched
• Loose or missing teeth
• Difficulty or pain when eating
PROFESSIONAL DENTAL CLEANING
When a pet has been diagnosed with dental disease caused by plaque and tartar accumulation on their teeth, the next step is a professional dental cleaning performed at your veterinarian’s office. This dental procedure is performed while your pet is under general anesthesia. The basic steps of a professional dental cleaning include the following:
Tooth Scaling: plaque and tartar are removed from your pet’s teeth, both above and below the gum line, using both ultrasonic and hand instruments
Tooth Polishing: polishing helps remove small pieces of plaque and smoothes the enamel (the outer layer of the tooth), which helps to slow down future plaque and tartar accumulation
Fluoride: fluoride has antibacterial effects, promotes enamel health, and also helps to decrease plaque and tartar accumulation on the teeth
Dental Charting: we keep detailed dental records to help monitor for progression of any dental disease in the future. We also notate the severity of any dental disease and notate any missing or extracted teeth
HOME DENTAL CARE
Pet owners play an important role in their animals’ oral health. Regular teeth brushing at home coupled with regular dental check-ups can help your pet live a longer, healthier life.