Dental treatment is often recommended following a visit to the vets, but you may not always be aware of exactly what is being advised. In the olden days, owners rarely ventured into the mouths of their pets and it was just accepted that as animals got older they got bad breath and bad teeth. Along with the infection in their mouths though, they could also get gastro intestinal problems, kidney and heart problems.
As veterinary medicine has improved over the years, we have realised that we have being doing our pets a disservice by ignoring their oral health. Our pets are unable to tell us when they have toothache. We may expect them to eat less or stop eating, but most animals do not do this, they may just eat on the other side or not chew so much. Often the first an owner knows about a dental problem is when infection is so severe a tooth becomes loose or even falls out.
Early intervention with dental issues can not only stop your pet losing a tooth but can also protect them for going on to develop heart or kidney problems. Conscious examination of the mouth, as done during an annual health check, will spot some issues, like the infection shown in the photo of the cat’s mouth. However as 60% of each tooth is below the gum line, a conscious examination can only give an indication of some of the issues. Examination under general anaesthetic with dental x-rays is required to make an accurate diagnosis and plan treatment.
During this indepth examination, a record of the detailed oral examination is made on a dental chart. The chart is used to record dental disease, plan treatment and monitor the response to treatment.
We are able to offer a range of dental services
We use the CR7 digital dental processor allowing us to take and assess excellent quality, high resolution images rapidly, minimising the time your pet is under anaesthetic. You can read more in dental x-rays.
Dental scale and polish
We have the IM3 42-12 ultrasonic scaler – unlike other ultrasonic tooth scalers that use a ‘jack hammer’ approach to tooth scaling, the 42-12 adopts a more gentle technique with its revolutionary rotational tip movement, and ultrasonic removal of the plaque and calculus (like a water bath instrument or jewellery cleaner). The 42-12 rapidly removes thick tartar from all tooth surfaces and is safe to use under the gum line. It rapidly removes plaque and calculus from all tooth surfaces, while using a lighter touch on the enamel than other ultrasonic scalers.
We use the IM3 elite vet dental unit. This provides us with a high speed drill with a fibre-optic light, allowing us to easily cut teeth before extraction (Most teeth have multiple roots pointing in different directions. The teeth have to be cut to allow each root to be removed individually). It also has a low speed unit used with single use disposable polishing heads, used to produce a highly polished finish on the tooth after scaling, to try and slow down the deposition of plaque.
Sanos veterinary dental sealant
One of the biggest challenges for animal dental care is keeping the gum line (gingival sulcus) clean. Dental problems are often caused by plaque at the gingival sulcus and lead to irreversible periodontal (gum) disease. Plaque starts to reattach to the teeth within hours after a dental cleaning if no take home dental care is administered afterwards. This is where Sanos veterinary dental barrier sealant can help. It is designed to extend the life of a dental cleaning when applied immediately following a professional dental scale and polish. It can best be described as a self-hardening liquid bandage device that helps and aids in gingival and oral health. Importantly, no home follow-up application is required and one application lasts up to 6 months.
The anaesthetic and dental treatment is just the start. Now that your pet has a healthy and comfortable mouth, the plan is to try and maintain this. Our team of vets and nurses will work with you to try and maintain a healthy mouth and minimise the number of treatments that your pet requires.