Pet Dental Care

What Can Be Done About my Pets Bad Breath?

A full dental exam, descale, polish and charting can be carried out under full general anaesthesia. (Your pet will be fully asleep)  A full general anaesthetic is always necessary to carry out a full examination of the mouth and to take dental xray, checking beneath the gum, where 90% of the problems will arise. It also makes things very comfortable for your pet. 

Animal Dental x-rayMy Pet is Old, is the Anaesthetic Worth The Risk?

Perhaps you have been told by another vet/neighbour/well trusted family member/breeder not to risk the anaesthetic “just” to clean the teeth?

At Petcare Vets we are passionate about dentistry, recognising the importance of good dental health to the overall health of a pet.  We are aware that training in animal dentistry and safe anaesthesia techniques for dental work, as well as training on dental equipment that is up to date and well maintained varies widely from practice to practice.  This is where some of the fear surrounding anaesthesia has been founded, so we would recommend enquiring whether the below methods are in place before booking your pet in anywhere for dental treatment.

Dental x-rayMinimising the Risk of Anaesthesia for Dental Work:-

  1. Using the latest up to date equipment and knowledge including dental x-ray in order to minimise the time and trauma of extractions.
  2. Local nerve blocks using the latest pain relief available to block your pets pain of extraction completely during the procedure and up to six hours afterwards.
  3. Fluid Therapy during anaesthesia and
  4. Pre Anaesthetic Blood Tests with same day results before proceeding (checking for many hidden metabolic anomalies or disease that may not be obvious).
  5. A thorough clinical exam on the morning of the anaesthetic.
  6. Up to Date Dental Training of Vets and Vet Nurses.
  7. Ensuring that there is only one dental procedure per day, so that anaesthesia will be closely monitored during the procedure and afterwards as well as ensuring that due care is taken to use gentle extraction methods.

Everything will be done on a risk-benefit basis, for each individual pet and will be discussed openly with you.

A few things to think about: 

  • Most Dental Disease occurs later in life.
  • Dental problems can lead to a shorter than average lifespan without it being obvious.
  • Dogs and Cats live to 16 – 18 years old. 
  • How often during the next years does your pet attempt to use their teeth on a daily basis?
  • How much discomfort and pain is the dental disease going to cause them on a daily or constant basis?
  • How would you feel if you had the same level of tartar and cavities?
  • Do you remember the last time you had a toothache or mouth ulcer how bad it felt?

If your pet has very mild tartar and bad breath a supplement will suffice, however quite often if the breath is bad enough it is usually due to a badly rotten tooth at the very back of the mouth. Dogs have 42 teeth.

Dental Disease is a huge hidden welfare issue for our pets. Many well intending and otherwise very attentive pet owners cannot see (it’s not easy to properly examine pet teeth), or simply don’t realise that there is an issue,  since many pets not displaying obvious signs until the problem is far advanced.

So the benefits of proceeding with a dental check when it is recommended at a Routine Check or Free Meet And Greet are clear.  

Our Dental Facilities and Equipment

Here at PETCARE VETS we have invested significantly in a top of the range dental suite, complete with dental x-ray. This ensures the safest, fasted removal of diseased teeth by allowing us to see below the gum line. It also ensures that any hidden sources of pain or future problems can be detected within the jaw.

Dental x-rayDental X-ray is deemed to be an absolute necessary for all cats requiring extractions. Cats are amazing creatures (as all cat owners already know) and can often resorb tooth roots in cases of advanced dental disease, even though the crown is still partially or all present. If no dental x-ray is carried out the vet dentist is forced to guess how much if any of the root is remaining, and can end up leaving roots in place or causing undue trauma by attempting to remove roots that are no longer present.

Dogs will require dental x-ray if there is suspect or obvious dental disease of a larger tooth to determine if it can be saved, if a root abscess is present or if there are unusual or “hook- shaped” roots present. Also certain breeds such as Boxers and other Brachycephalics such as Shi Tzus, Bull Dogs, Pugs will required them as standard even if no extractions are carried out, as they are more at risk of hidden  dental disease beneath the gum line  such as dental cysts and unerupted teeth that can cause pain (often not shown to or not recognised by their human family members).

How Much Will Dental Work Set Me Back And Will My Insurance Cover It?

Our Free Visit Plans really take the “sting” out of the cost of your pets dental work. Dentals are usually not covered by insurance companies, with the exception of resulting from a traumatic incident rather that normal wear and tear.

We have designed our Free Visit Plans to reduce your veterinary bills as well as covering many of the things insurance companies do not cover.  If your pet is on a Premium Free Visit Plan many of the costs of the dental are covered in monthly payments as well as all the other great benefits.  

Premium Plans include an annual dental descale, polish and charting under general anaesthetic and are available for Dogs and Cats.

As with human teeth, the earlier problems can be caught, the better and routine care and examination is recommended. Tailored Post Dental Advice

As part of our value of Comprehensive Care , at Petcare Vets our aim is to keep your Pets Healthy and head off future disease with regular full clinical exams and tailored advice.  Dental care is no different.

There are several options to keep your pets teeth sparkling white, from brushing, slight changes in diet and feeding certain supplements and in some cases fresh bones (never cooked) . Many pets will required dental work every 1 to 2 years from middle age onwards, some pets  from 2 years of age onwards usually depending on breed and predisposition.