Importance of Good Oral Hygiene
Do you know that 70% of dogs and cats over 3 years of age have some form of dental disease? At Willow Mill Veterinary Hospital, we utilize the latest techniques and modern equipment to provide the best dental care for your pet. This blog series will explain exactly what is involved in a dentistry procedure performed at Willow Mill Veterinary Hospital.
Professional dentistry is about more than white teeth and fresh breath. One of the most important things a pet owner can do to insure that their pet lives a long, healthy life is to maintain good oral hygiene. Poor oral health causes toxins and bacteria to absorb into the bloodstream causing irreversible damage to the heart valves, liver, bladder and kidneys. It also causes pain and, in severe cases, may result in jaw fracture.
Every pet we see has an examination of the mouth performed as part of the comprehensive physical exam. During this exam we can see if there is obvious disease in the mouth. The severity of the dental disease is graded from 1 to 4, with 1 being mild dental calculus (tartar) and 4 being severe dental disease with loss of bone and gingival attachment. This allows us to estimate how much time it may take to clean and polish the teeth.
It is difficult to fully examine the mouth of an awake pet, and we can only view the crowns of the teeth not the roots. The full oral exam cannot be completed until the pet is anesthetized, when we are able to probe the gums and fully evaluate the oral structures.
We will provide an estimate for the procedures foreseen based on the initial office examination. It is not uncommon to discover other problems during the dental procedure. If this is the case, we will call you to discuss our findings and give you a more accurate estimate for the procedure. Please schedule the dental cleaning on a day you can be reached by phone, so that we may contact you to discuss our exam findings and to proceed with a treatment plan.
Continue to Part 2