Small Animal Dentistry
Bear Creek, West County, and Country Club Animal Clinics provide routine dental examinations, dental cleanings, dental x-ray and tooth extractions for your animal.
According to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have oral disease by the age of 3. It is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets.
Common signs of oral disease include:
- Tartar build-up
- Red and swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Changes in eating or chewing habits
- Pawing at the face
- Generalized depression
A veterinarian should evaluate your pet’s dental health at least once a year.
Bacteria and food debris accumulate around an animal’s teeth.
If left unchecked, it will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay results in irreversible periodontal disease and even tooth loss.
There are other reasons why you should pay close attention to your pet’s dental health.
Dental disease can affect other organs in the body.
Bacteria in the mouth can get into the blood and may cause:
- Serious kidney infections
- Liver disease
- Lung disease
- Heart valve disease
Oral disease can also indicate that another disease process is occurring elsewhere in a pet’s body.
A thorough physical exam combined with appropriate laboratory work can determine if this is the case.
Dental X-Rays allow us to see structures of the tooth and bone below the gum line. Many patients, especially those with advanced periodontal disease, may require dental x-rays to fully evaluate the structures hidden below the gums. (Dental x-rays are currently available at Bear Creek Animal Clinic and Country Club Animal Clinic.)
Does My Pet Have To Have Anesthesia To Have Its Teeth Cleaned?
The answer is YES. Because dogs and cats won’t hold their mouths open like people do while they are at the dentist makes anesthesia necessary. Anesthesia allows us to thoroughly examine every tooth (and we do examine every tooth!), take x-rays if necessary, and to thoroughly scale away all signs of dental plaque and tarter and end with a polish which helps prevent plaque from accumulating on any rough surface.
That being said, we strive to make anesthesia as safe as possible. The anesthetic agents used at our practice are tailored for your pets specific needs and are very safe. Additionally, all anesthetized patients have their own Registered Veterinary Technician and are under the direct supervision of one of our doctors from the beginning of their procedure and through recovery. Vital signs are continuously monitored throughout all of our anesthetic procedures with sophisticated monitoring equipment. Changes in respiration, blood pressure, oxygen levels or heartbeat elicit our immediate attention.