Maintaining the health of your dog’s teeth and gums is one of the most important ways you increase the comfort and length of his or her life.
Dog dental care is important because:
- Dogs with gingivitis are uncomfortable, and more advanced periodontal disease is painful.
- Gum disease can lead to infections of the heart, kidneys, and other organs.
- It’s easier to enjoy your dog’s company if he or she doesn’t have foul breath from oral infections.
- Preventing advanced dental disease is cheaper, safer, and less painful than treating high grade disease.
No plaque or gingivitis present. Young, healthy dogs and cats between 6 and 12 months of age are often grade 0. Daily home dental care is recommended.
Mild plaque present. Often reversible with brushing and appropriate chewing; otherwise, a prophylactic dental cleaning is indicated.
Mild to moderate tartar (mineralized plaque and bacteria) and gingivitis are present on multiple teeth. X-rays find 0-25% supporting bone loss. A professional dental cleaning is indicated to prevent further decay and destruction.
Heavy tartar and periodontal disease with destruction of bone support are present. This mouth is painful. Tooth lesions and fractures may be present under tartar. A professional cleaning is needed, and advanced treatments like periodontal pocket therapy along with committed daily home dental care might prevent progression of disease and tooth loss.
Severe tartar, periodontal disease, and pain are present. Permanent damage has occurred, more than half the tooth’s bone support is destroyed, and tooth loss is imminent. A professional dental cleaning is needed, and extractions will be required to control ongoing pain and infection.
Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment & Treatment
National standards state an anesthetized dental cleaning and evaluation including dental x-rays are indicated when abnormalities are seen on awake exam (such as gingivitis or tartar), or at least on an annual basis starting at 1 year of age for cats and small to medium breed dogs, and at 2 years of age for larger breed dogs.
Our standards include only the safest anesthetics available and advanced anesthesia monitoring with both electronic equipment and a licensed veterinary nurse anesthetist. Additionally, a pre-anesthetic exam and blood work are used to screen for potential anesthesia risks.
IV catheterization is used to deliver IV fluids during the procedure and provide immediate access for life-saving medications in the event of an anesthetic complication. Gas anesthesia and oxygen are delivered via an endotracheal tube with an inflated cuff that protects the airways from oral debris loosened during the procedure.
We make use of pre-, intra-, and post-operative pain management modalities to make sure your dog is comfortable before, during, and after dental procedures.
During our anesthetized cleaning and polishing procedure, we also perform full-mouth x-rays and thorough probing and charting of your dog’s mouth. During this assessment, we may find problems that require additional treatment.
Each tooth will be carefully evaluated so that we can determine the best treatment option. Because a complete oral exam is not possible without sedation, exact treatment plans are difficult to predict before the procedure.
To help avoid surprise charges, a nurse will call you to update our treatment plan during the procedure in the event additional procedures are needed. In some cases, a second follow-up visit will be required if extensive treatments are indicated, but in the event this care can be safely provided during the initial cleaning procedure time, we’ve included a list of common treatments below:
- Oral surgery
- surgery/extractions as indicated
- local oral nerve block(s)
- gingival flap procedure (if needed)
- use of sterile extraction packs
- suture closure of extraction site
- post-surgery x-rays
- post-surgery laser therapy to reduce pain and inflammation
- Enamel bonding procedure
- Periodontal pocket therapy treatment
- Post-procedure pain medications