Dental care Facts
Dental Care is one of the most important parts of maintaining your pet’s health. Many pets never receive the dental care they need because of misinformation or a lack of understanding about the facts.
Dental disease is the most common, most preventable, and most treatable problem of dogs and cats. There are many concerns regarding pet dental treatments and whether or not a pet truly needs a professional dental cleaning. Here are some of the most common fallacies and facts about Pet Dental Care.
FALLACY #1: “We’ve had dogs and cats all our lives; they never had dental problems.”
FACT: The reality is that your previous pet had dental disease that you never knew they had. Many veterinarians have never had proper training in veterinary dentistry, and without modern tools, most dental disease was missed or overlooked. ALL dogs and cats will get PERIODONTAL DISEASE. It is the most common disease of dogs and cats. Periodontal infection is the silent killer of cats and dogs.
Commonly quoted studies show that 70% of cats and 85% of dogs will have periodontal disease by age three. It is our experience, and that of most veterinary dental specialists, that these studies significantly underestimate the incidence of periodontal disease.
FALLACY #2: “My dog is too old for anesthesia. Treating PERIODONTAL DISEASE is not worth the risk, and it’s not worth the money. ” This is completely WRONG!
FACT: Older dogs are often the ones who need (and deserve) the most dental care. Increasing age is NOT an anesthetic risk. Older pets need to be carefully screened for problems that may require special precautions to be taken, but that should not prevent dental care.
Dogs and cats with chronic diseases like heart disease, chronic kidney failure, and diabetes, benefit greatly from DENTAL CARE. The complications of periodontal disease greatly reduce a pet’s quality of life. Gingivitis, loose, painful teeth, tooth abscesses, eye infections, nasal infections, bone infections, jaw fractures, and systemic bactierial infections are all complications of untreated dental disease.
Pet’s feel better after dental care. The benefits of having your pet feel better are priceless.
FALLACY #3: “The risk of anesthesia is too great. I’ve heard that pets can have their teeth cleaned without anesthesia.”
FACT: Anesthesia is essential for safe and effective dental care. Proper diagnosis and treatment of dental disease requires a full visual examination of the oral cavity, careful probing of each tooth, and dental x-rays. The most important part of the dental treatment is cleaning under the gum line (subgingival scaling). This cannot be performed on an awake animal.
So-called non-anesthesia dentistry can be scary and dangerous for pets, and clients think their pet is receiving appropriate dental care, when in fact, the most serious dental problems are missed.
FACT: The risk of modern anesthesia is low. We use most of the same anesthetics that are commonly used in humans. At Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital, we have experience and expertise in anesthesia. Every safety precaution is taken. ALL anesthetized pets receive intravenous catheters, IV fluids, and endotracheal intubation.