Dentistry

View dental hygiene for dogs as seen on WCNC36/Charlotte Today. Watch an actual dental procedure from start to finish.

Dentistry is a key component of good, preventive health care. Bad breath is not normal. It is a sign of dental disease. A pet’s mouth harbors bacteria that can cause infections in the heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs. A clean, healthy mouth helps maintain a healthy body.

Regular professional dental cleaning is part of an excellent wellness plan for your dog or cat. Maintaining a healthy mouth may add years of quality life to your pet.

Why we should care about dental disease

Before and after a pet dental cleaning

Nearly 85% of all dogs and cats over two years of age have some degree of dental disease. Dental disease varies from mild tartar accumulation to advanced periodontal disease. Gingivitis (red, inflamed, painful gums), gum recession, abscessed (infected) teeth and gums and tooth loss may result as dental disease progresses.

Advances in veterinary medicine, such as good preventive dental care, are adding quality years to the lives of our pets. We once considered a 10-year-old dog or cat to be "old." Now they are just senior pets. "Old" dogs and cats are now reaching 15-20 years of age!

What YOU Can Do To Prevent Oral Disease

Your pet's teeth and gums require routine maintenance in order to stay healthy. Tooth brushing helps prevent bad breath, dental disease and poor health. A routine of home dental care on your puppy or kitten helps to condition them early in life to this important procedure. Specially flavored toothpastes (vanilla, poultry, seafood, malt), rinses and gels are available. A soft bristled child’s toothbrush, a specially designed finger brush, or gauze sponges may be used to brush your pet's teeth. We will gladly demonstrate the use of these products.

Chewing on appropriate items such as rawhide, hard rubber chews, or nylon chews is enjoyable to most dogs and is helpful in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Enzymatic, plaque removing chew treats are also available for cats and dogs. Finally, some pet foods are specially formulated to minimize and remove plaque.

What WE Can Do To Prevent & Treat Oral Disease

Once tartar has accumulated on your pet's teeth, professional cleaning becomes necessary. Professional cleaning requires the use of general anesthesia to do a thorough job. The most important aspect of cleaning is to scale the portion of the tooth you can't see. Tartar accumulation begins in pockets beneath the gum line. Once scaling is complete, polishing of the teeth follows. Finally, a plaque deterrent coating is applied to the teeth.

Extraction of teeth may sometimes be necessary based on oral examination and dental radiographic (x-rays) studies. Abscessed tooth roots or erosions of the tooth enamel that extend into the pulp cavity may be sources of pain and infection. Once healed, tooth extractions will not discourage your pet from eating. On the contrary, your pet will enjoy easier, pain free eating once diseased teeth are removed.

Digital Dental X-rays for Pets

Just as your own dentist does, we often take dental x-rays. Dental x-rays are used to evaluate structures we can not see beneath the gum line; tooth roots and supporting bone around the tooth. Based on the information we gain from dental x-rays, we can develop a treatment plan for your pet’s dental problems.

Retained Deciduous (Baby) Teeth

Sometimes baby teeth do not fall out. Retained baby teeth will cause crowding of permanent teeth and lead to a malocclusion or “bad bite”. Retained baby teeth should be extracted as soon as possible to prevent future dental problems. Frequently, retained baby teeth are extracted at the time of spay or neuter surgery.

Veterinary dentistry has become a very important aspect of maintaining your pet’s oral health. Contact VCA Stoney Creek Animal Hospital today to schedule a dental checkup or teeth cleaning for your cat or dog!

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