WE RECOMMEND HAVING YOUR PET’S TEETH EXAMINED
AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR.
We also recommend a dental cleaning at least once a year to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
Here at Best Friends Animal Hospital, we believe that annual dental cleanings are a part of preventive healthcare. Every comprehensive wellness exam consists of a check of the teeth and gums. However, we can conduct a more thorough exam with digital X-rays, which allow us to view below the gum line. A complete oral exam can reveal conditions like periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Gum disease consists of an inflammation of the tissue and bone that supports teeth.
Although often overlooked, gum disease is one of the most common health conditions seen in dogs and cats. Pets obviously can’t brush their own teeth, and brushing their teeth for them can be challenging, which is why many pet owners neglect the teeth entirely. While this may not seem problematic at first, it can increase the chances of gum disease, among other conditions.
Most Common Signs of Gum Disease in Pets
Many of the signs of gum disease can be easily detected, simply by looking at the teeth. However, others signs are behavioral. The following are some of the most common signs:
Difficulty picking up food or eating
Bleeding or red gums
Mouth smacking noises
These symptoms aren’t necessarily a guarantee that gum disease is present. However, these signs are associated with gum disease and should, therefore, warrant a visit to our hospital.
About the Dental Cleaning
A standard dental cleaning at Best Friends Animal Hospital consists of the following 10 steps:
- Comprehensive physical exam
- Pre-anesthetic blood testing
- IV catheter placement to administer anesthesia and fluids
- Administration of antibiotics, if necessary
- Complete oral exam, while your pet is anesthetized
- Teeth cleaning using ultrasonic scaling instrument
- Root-planing procedure to remove bacteria and plaque under gum line
- Digital X-ray imaging to view below the gum line
- Tooth polishing and fluoride treatment application
- Dental sealant placement to protect teeth enamel
Just as with any other procedure we perform under anesthesia, we monitor every patient that receives dental care to ensure their safety and comfort. If you have any questions about your pet’s cleaning, their oral health in general, or how to best care for their teeth at home, let us know. We’ll be happy to help.