Veterinary Dentistry

You are a responsible pet owner. You take good care of your pet. But do you always remember to take care of your pet’s teeth? Our vet dentist has specialized training to provide the best veterinary dental services for your pets.

Pets have dental diseases and problems just like you do. Many of these problems can be avoided by bringing your pet to your veterinarian for regular veterinary dental check-ups and dental cleanings.
Dental disease can be avoided with the right combination of home care and professional dental exams.

Give Your Pet Complete Dental Care

Annual veterinary dental care and home dental care will help keep your pet’s breath fresh and gums and teeth healthy. Your pet’s smile and healthier life will be equaled by your smile and pride in a job well done.

Signs of Dental Problems

  • Bad breath – one of the first signs of dental disease
  • A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched

Does your Pet have Bad Breath or Reddened Gums?

If so, it could be from gingivitis. Gingivitis occurs when soft plaque hardens into rough, irritating tartar. Tartar build-up on your pet’s teeth can cause damage to the teeth and gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to an infection called periodontal disease. This disease can cause the loss of teeth.

You can prevent serious dental problems from happening by making sure your pet receives dental exams at the time of each vaccination, again at six months of age, and then annually.

Veterinary dentistry is quite different from the equivalent process in people. For most of us, caring for our teeth and gums has been part of our daily routine for as long as we can remember. Consequently, a person’s visit to the dental hygienist is relatively brief and does not require sedation. In contrast, veterinary dentistry is considerably more involved, time-consuming, and complex. It requires general anesthesia, and consequently a day’s hospitalization and the skills of several people, from veterinarians to veterinary technicians and animal attendants.
A pre-dental workup involves laboratory and diagnostic tests to better evaluate a pet’s current health status and to assure safe anesthesia. Current medical problems must be evaluated and any possible unknown problems must be identified prior to dentistry.

For otherwise healthy young animals, we suggest a brief in-hospital blood screen on the day of the dentistry. For older animals, a complete blood count (CBC) and blood chemistry profile (SMA20) are taken at least one day prior to the dentistry. A preoperative electrocardiogram (EKG) may be suggested in certain circumstances.

Your pet’s dental cleaning at Plainfield will begin with a physical examination. This is important to evaluate your pet’s general health. After the physical exam, your pet is given an anesthesia for a safe and painless sleep during the dental cleaning.

The first part of dental cleaning requires the removal of tartar. This is done with a hand scaler. Next, a periodontal probe checks for pockets under the gumline where periodontal disease and bad breath starts. A mechanical scaler is used to clean above the gumline while a curette cleans and smoothes the teeth under the gumline in the crevice.

Your pet’s teeth are polished, creating a smooth surface. The gums are washed with an anti- bacterial solution to help delay tartar build-up both under the gumline and on the crown of the tooth. Finally, the doctor also administers a fluoride treatment to strengthen your pet’s teeth, to desensitize exposed roots, and to decrease infection.

Dental care does not end with a visit to your veterinarian. You need to continue your veterinarian’s good work at home; brushing your pet’s teeth is an important part of home dental care. The staff at Plainfield Animal Hospital will show you the proper method of brushing your pet’s teeth.