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Dental care for pets- or how we do it at Animal Health Care

Aug 17

Categories: Blog

Pets get dental disease, too and it's just not a flip of the lip and bad breath but far more lurks below the surface of what you see- because it's not all you get!  The foundation of a good dental program for your pets involves you the pet parent, your pet (of course) and your veterinary team. Most dogs and  cats have the need for professional pet dental care once they reach age 3.  That after all is equal to us at age 20-30. Can you imagine not brushing your teeth or having a cleaning for the first 2-3 decades of your life?

The basis for implementation of any program is a comprehensive oral assessment, treatment, and prevention  (oral ATP) protocol for each pet. At your pet's regularly scheduled examination for vaccinations and during an outpatient evaluation we often find dental concerns. We use a blue wave length light to identify areas of concern which will highlight as hot pink due to a bacteria in the mouths of animals called i sp. 

Once your pet has a dental grade of 2 or higher it's time for the all important dental procedure to get those pearly whites back to clean and bright; putting that mouth back into a healthy state.  After all, you kiss those cute little faces, don't you? The protocol starts with a preoperative examination and explanation of the process by the attending veterinarian and nursing team. 

After the initial treatment plan is scheduled now we get to the root of the problem: literally and figuratively.  First we draw a small sample of blood to identify the state of internal health of our patient and use this result as a baseline for formulating the balanced anesthesia protocol for each patient each time. We tailor the medications to the patient and then every patient is monitored  with at least 3 of the following: electrocardiography, pulse oximeter, respiratory rate, blood pressure measurement throughout the procedure.  A dedicated nurse is monitoring these vital signs while we proceed. Another nurse gathers dental information for the veterinarian.  We then take intra oral digital survey radiography of the upper and lower jaws. We often print a copy for you the pet parent along with a complete dental chart of health (or not) for the medical records.

We ultrasonically scale or clean the teeth: (dogs should have 42 teeth and cats 30 teeth) then proceed to polish the teeth, apply fluoride to the teeth and many times use a professional plaque barrier sealant prior to competing the dental procedure.  Our dental suite allows our undivided attention to our patients so that they get the best treatment possible.

After the dental procedure is completed, a dedicated recovery nurse observes the patient until they are fully awake and recovered from anesthesia.  We will then confirm our discharge appointment with the veterinarian to review the dental report card with the results of the examination findings and treatments provided as well as recommendations for follow up care.  We will schedule a post dental procedure appointment to review home care and tailor a plaque prevention control program for you and your pet.

So every patient every time should have their dental health assessment. We have many products that can help keep that mouth in a healthy state! We have a great team of veterinary health care professionals who can and will help you keep your pets happy and healthy.