All pets require regular dental care similar to ourselves, on a regular but not necessarily annual basis-in order to remove tartar forming bacteria from their teeth, which can lead to the deposition of plaque. Dental home care, such as brushing or the use of VOHC approved dental care products on a regular basis will significantly reduce the amount of bacteria in your pet’s mouth, but professional dental services are required on a reasonably regular basis-and should be considered any time your pet undergoes an anesthetic procedure.
Your pet’s veterinary healthcare team will take the time prior to any recommended dental intervention or the consideration of dental extractions to review the likely cost and, review the postoperative benefits to your pets overall health. This review will also include the consideration of home dental care-without home dental care being started prior to a dental procedure [if applicable] can allow your pet to have full advantage of the clean and healthy mouth that will result from our intervention, and keep it that way!
Sunnyview Animal Care‘s dental services not only include a comprehensive oral health assessment so very important to your pets health and welfare, but can include digital dental x-rays, ultrasonic scaling performed by our Registered Veterinary Technicians, followed by polishing and the use of antibacterial rinses. However, on occasion dental surgical intervention or, tooth extraction is found to be necessary.
COMPREHENSIVE ORAL HEALTH ASSESSMENT & Treatment (“COHAT”)
‘COHAT’ procedures can only be performed under general anesthesia and include more than what many refer to as “dental cleaning” – However cleaning of your pet’s teeth is only one part of the overall health picture for your pet.
Once fully anesthetized in keeping with our anesthetic protocol, your pet receives a detailed oral examination very similar to that performed by your own dentist. Each individual tooth surface is explored for any injury (excessive wear, discoloration, or indications of fractures), subgingival examination & subgingival probing will assess any other abnormalities such as excessive route exposure, unexpected dental caries/cavities or sources of infection aka. “periodontal disease”.
Only general anesthesia allows us to fully evaluate your pet’s mouth and ensure that all the teeth are not only healthy but, ensure that the gums, tongue, and other oral structures are similarly healthy. We will also assess if there are any abnormalities under the gum line, clean & polish all the adult teeth, remove any retained baby teeth [if needed], & contact you if any additional care/diagnostic radiographs are necessary. For example, there are occurrences where we may find indications that the tooth is missing, has not erupted through the gum line, or is fractured/damaged in some manner. In cats, it is common to find caries/cavities that are actually just below the gum line and our source of significant pain for your cat yet, our pet never misses a meal! Dental Radiology is an excellent way to know what is going on inside your pet’s mouth & ensure we provide your family the best possible pet care in order to get & keep their mouths clean & healthy!
If found to be necessary-full mouth intra-oral dental radiographs are performed in order to assess the surrounding bone & dental structures that are not visible by dental probing or visual examination. More than 60% of our teeth are actually below the gum line and can only be assessed in this manner. Dental X-Rays allow us to find abscesses at the root/base of the teeth, assess the possibility of cancer development, help us assess if there are broken or on-erupted or malformed teeth below the gum line.
Any abnormalities found to this point are recording your pet’s personal dental record and, the treatment plan re-evaluated and you are contacted with any anticipated changes including the need for extractions over and above what was originally discussed. This reassessment illustrates the need for a cell phone or work phone number in order to allow us to contact you with any changes or concerns your veterinary team has at this point.
If extraction of any teeth are anticipated, dental nerve blocks may be administered and, the tooth completely removed, the pocket is rinsed with an antibacterial solution, follow up radiology is performed, & the gum is sutured closed.
The remaining teeth are cleaned & polished above & below the gum line; this process results in a smooth tooth surface preventing early accumulation of plaque & tartar in concert with your home care previously discussed.