Dental Care & Cleaning
Dental hygiene is a vital part of your pet’s health and can sometimes be the source of serious illness. Pets are susceptible to dental disease just like humans. Regular dental care does more than just keep your pet’s breath fresh and clean. Bad breath and/or reddened gums are often signs of dental problems. Dental problems, if left untreated, have the potential to lead to greater overall health issues in your pet. Routine dental cleanings can help stop plaque and tartar accumulation in your pet’s mouth, preventing the spread of periodontal disease. This can occur as a result of bacteria from the mouth entering the blood stream and damaging organs like the heart,
liver and kidneys. Many of these problems can be avoided by bringing your pet for regular dental check-ups and dental cleanings.
We offer extensive dental care for pets including cleaning, polishing, tooth extractions, and digital dental radiology. Airpark Animal Hospital is devoted to keeping your pet’s mouth clean and healthy, so during a wellness exam our veterinarians will discuss options with you for your pet’s continued dental routine at home.
Some signs your pet may be experiencing dental problems include:
- Bad breath
- Difficulty eating or a decrease in appetite
- Swollen or red gums
- Mouth or gums bleed while eating or cause pain when touched
- Dark yellow or brown layers of plaque can be seen on teeth near the gum line
- Loose, broken or missing teeth
Pet dentistry is much more involved and complex then most dental visits for humans, because unlike most of us, pets have not had a daily routine involving the cleaning of their teeth and gums. Subsequently, veterinary dentistry is considerably more time-consuming and requires general anesthesia and a day’s hospitalization.
Anesthesia or deep sedation is necessary for dental procedures and thorough oral exams for the following reasons:
- Without anesthesia or sedation, dogs and cats would not tolerate having the firmly attached tartar scraped from their teeth during a dental procedure.
- Ultrasonic scaling tools and sharp hand instruments are utilized to remove the dental tartar.
- Pets or the people conducting the cleaning can be injured if a sudden movement occurs during the procedure.
- Periodontal disease typically starts below the gum line in the sub gingival space, so it is critical to clean this area in addition to the area above the gum line. Cleaning and scraping below the gum line can cause more discomfort then usually accompanies cleaning above the gum line.
- Upon completion of pre-anesthetic blood work, the doctor and staff will complete a thorough oral exam and assess your pet’s overall tooth and gum health. This is followed by cleaning, scaling, and extractions as necessary. Your pet will be with us for most of a day when having this procedure done, but may go home after fully recovering from anesthesia.
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