Dentistry

Did you know that over 80% of dogs and cats over 3 years old have some form of dental disease?

Why not go and have a look at your pet’s mouth now?

Teeth should be white with no calculus or plaque and the gums should be a nice pink colour.

Signs of disease include red or bleeding gums, especially around the margins of the teeth, yellow or brown discolouration, tartar or calculus and in severe cases you may see loose teeth.  

Give your pet something to smile about!

Dental or periodontal disease is important for 2 main reasons:

  1. Your pet may be in discomfort and some will show obvious signs of pain. These can include difficulty eating, resentment when handled around the head and they may be irritable due to the pain.
  2. There is evidence that the bacteria associated with dental disease in the mouth travels via the blood stream to cause infections in other parts of the body, including the kidneys and heart.

It is important to remember your pet may have bad teeth and not show any signs. You should pull back their lips and check all of their teeth. especially the big molars at the back.

Compare them against the pictures to the right. If you are unsure please make an appointment and we can check their teeth for you.

The gold standard in home dental care is tooth brushing with a bristle brush daily

Only brushes with bristles can reach under the gum line and get in between the teeth. Cheap, soft bristle brushes should be used. Use a specific enzymatic toothpaste, although the mechanical method of brushing  is the most important part. The toothpaste provides a lesser contribution to plaque removal but the flavour can make the experience more enjoyable for your pet.

You must brush daily. Brushing every second day is 60% less effective than if you do it every day. Any less than this and there really is no point in doing it at all!

Start by introducing toothpaste with your finger and rubbing around the gum line. Don’t rush this process or your pet will be less likely to accept it. Once your pet is happy having his/her mouth worked with you can introduce the brush. Move it back and forth and round in circles to get into all the nooks and crannies! Brushing the outside of the teeth is the most important, don’t worry if your pet will not allow you to brush the insides.

What else can I do?

Certain diets and chews can also help.  However, these do not get under the gum line the same way tooth brushing does and therefore should be used in conjunction with brushing. 

If you are unsure if your brushing is being effective you can bring your pet along to one of our nurse clinics and we can apply a disclosing solution to show you the areas where plaque is starting to form.

Please ring the surgery if you would like to make an appointment.

What if your pet has dental disease?

If your pet is suffering from dental disease they will benefit from a scale and polish and may even require some extractions.

Dentals are done under general anaesthetic.

Firstly, we chart the pets mouth, giving each individual tooth a score for tartar and gum disease. We make note of any missing or fractured teeth and decide on treatment.

We have a specialised dental x-ray machine which allows us to take detailed x-rays of your pets mouth. This gives us the information we need to make decisions as to whether to extract teeth or not. We use the same kind of dental machine as a human dentist.

The ultrasonic scaler removes the plaque and tartar. It has a high speed air-driven drill to aid in the removal of teeth. The polisher uses special paste to smooth the teeth after they have been scaled. It also has an air and water nozzle to flush away debris and bacteria and clean the mouth when we have finished.    

Our Veterinary Experience

  • Step one

    Our vets have all undergone training with a veterinary dental specialist.

    Firstly we chart your pets mouth, giving each individual tooth a score for tartar and gum disease. We make note of any missing, fractured or loose teeth. We then use our ultrasonic scaler to remove the tartar and our polisher to smooth the teeth after scaling.

    You may have had this procedure at your own dentist as the machine we use is very similar. It also has an air and water nozzle to flush away debris and bacteria and clean the mouth when we have finished.

  • X-Ray

    We have a specialised dental x-ray machine which allows us to take detailed pictures of your pets mouth and get an instant picture of any diseased teeth. This allows us to make an informed decision on the treatment for each individual tooth.

  • Tooth Removal

    Very loose teeth can be easily removed however fractured teeth or ones with diseased roots require more intricate treatment. Many of the teeth in your pets mouth have more than one root, some have 2 and some even have 3.

    However, the tooth with the longest root, which can make up a major part of the jaw, is the canine tooth so this single rooted tooth can also be very tricky to extract. If your pet requires these teeth to be extracted we perform a surgical excision. We push back the gum allowing us to visualise the jaw and burr away part of the bone to enable us to see the roots.

    We are then able to remove this tooth easily and safely causing the least amount of trauma to the surrounding teeth and gums. Once the tooth is out we suture the gum over the extraction site, thereby closing the pocket. Your pet will need soft foods for a few days and the sutures will eventually dissolve away.

  • What next?

    As you can imagine dental procedures can be complicated and time consuming as you never know what you might find once you can properly look inside the mouth and remove the tartar.

    This is not something we like to do as an ‘add on’ procedure. Many clients will ask us to look at their pets mouth when they are dropping them off for another reason.

    As you can now appreciate the dental may take longer that the operation the animal was originally booked in for. If you think your pet has dental disease get them checked out first. We can then book them in for an appropriate hospital slot.

Get In Touch

Contact us via phone or email today with your query.

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