A Veterinarians’ take on dental care.
Professional dental cleanings are much more than simple brushing of the teeth and a dental cleaning really must be done under anesthesia.
Many owners are fearful of anesthesia for cleaning their pets teeth. However, there are several safety precautions that are taken before a pet is prepped for dental cleanings.
True dental cleanings involve scaling the teeth (the scraping your dentist does to your teeth). This can be time consuming, especially after years of tartar build up.
Disease also occurs under the gums as well, it is important we reach those areas too, cleaning only the part of the tooth you can see is nothing more than a cosmetic procedure.
Don’t be fooled by those selling cleanings while your pet is awake. “Awake” procedures are unethical, ineffective and they trick owners into thinking they have done right by their pets
Dental cleaning instruments are very sharp. Use of these instruments in a moving patient is unsafe and ineffective.
Once cleaning is complete we take X-rays of the teeth to ‘see’ if there are any underlying issues or if disease is present. If there are concerns or teeth that must be extracted, we will contact you and give our advice based on what the x-rays show.
Finally, the teeth are fully polished and any grooves left in the enamel are smoothed. This is so plaque and tartar do not reform into these grooves.
Polishing requires a rotating device just like your dentist uses, and the polish is applied under the gums.
This final step decreases how quickly future disease will occur. Just like in people, oral health is a daily battle and at home brushing is the best way to slow recurrence of disease and oral infection, improving the quality and health of your furry family member.
Dental cleanings are continued on an ‘as needed’ basis usually between 1-2 years. Infection in the teeth can lead to heart and kidney disease if left unchecked. Regular, frequent cleanings keep costs and risks to a minimum.
Our main goal is to maintain a high quality of life for your pet as long as possible. Thankfully, our pets live a lot longer now, and their teeth can last longer too.
Contact your local vet, in Georgia, to schedule a cleaning and exam.