Pet Teeth Cleaning by Dr. Fauley
Hi, I am Dr. Fauley at Care Animal Clinic and in additional to prolotherapy for mature pets, I’d like to go over a few things about dental care as far as our pets go. As pet owners, it is important to do the right things, to pay attention to what is going on with their teeth, their mouth. Hygienically, it helps them to be around people more, plus it is healthy for them. This is my dog Harley. He is 6 years old. He had his first dental cleaning a year ago. This is how the gums look when they are in good shape. On this side, there is hardly any tartar on the teeth, the gums are pink and they are not inflamed at all. On this side, there is a little tartar accumulation after a year. It is a slow progression and so that’s why sometimes it could get away from people and not notice that there is a problem, not even noticing that there is a breath problem, so we’d like to have them cleaned regularly.
Pet Teeth Cleaning requires sedation.
Unlike spay neuter, when we do dental cleaning, we do not anesthetize here at Care Animal Clinic. We do sedate, though. What we do is not painful, so they do not have to be anesthetized like they do for surgeries. We give them a little bit of sedation so that they don’t mind the scaling and the polishing. This procedure is the same for people when they have their teeth cleaned. People’s teeth are scaled with an ultrasonic scaler that vibrates and sprays water out and this actually removes the tartar. Tartar is a hard substance called calculus that forms on the teeth and when thick enough will start rubbing against the gums and when it rubs against the gums enough, the gums become inflamed and this is called gingivitis where the gums get inflamed so much that they start receding and when the gums start receding, periodontal disease sets in. As I was saying, we sedate them, and then we scale and polish the teeth. This doesn’t hurt. We polish the teeth using a cup that spins around and filled with prophy paste that has bubblegum flavor and is gritty. After polishing, we put a layer of fluoride.
Pet Teeth Cleaning usually starts after 5 years of age.
If done regularly, some dogs will need cleaning every year, some every few years. Harley did not need it for the first time until he was about 5 years old. He probably will not need it for another year and perhaps 2 years after that. So what we do is go ahead and sedate them by giving them an injection in a vein, which makes them a little bit sleepy and then we go ahead and use this unit which is typical for dental care. This is a scaler. It has a small tip in the end that sprays out water and it vibrates. It is used to remove the tartar. Once the tartar is removed, the teeth look white; but, we still need to polish them. This instrument is just a scaler with a prophy cup on the end of it, used with paste and this polishes the surface of the teeth and makes them smooth. It cleans the teeth and under the gum line. Then we apply a layer of foamy or mousse-like fluoride on the teeth to keep them healthy.
Pet Teeth Cleaning may prevent more costly procedures.
Things that we do when the pet has bad teeth are extractions. We do extractions, but not root canals. There are specialists out there who do root canals and then put caps and crowns on the teeth. If the pet has a bad tooth, we will do an extraction; but, before we do this, we will evaluate the health of the tooth by using the dental x-ray unit. When the pet is sedated, we can focus this part of the machine on the questionable tooth and take an x-ray to help us determine whether or not to take out the tooth. It is a very helpful tool for examining the roots and parts of the teeth that we cannot see below the gum line.
Pet Teeth Cleaning is only part of the dental program.
So, it is a very good idea to stay on top of things, brush their teeth regularly, give them healthy foods and things they can chew on to toughen up their gums and keep them in a healthy state.
New clients may register online at www.NapervilleVet.com
Youtube Title: Pet Teeth Cleaning Naperville IL, Woodridge IL, Bolingbrook IL, Plainfield IL)
Pet teeth cleaning may prevent future pet medical problems. Often bad breath in dogs or bad breath in cats is a sign of veterinary dental problems