Veterinary Dentistry in North Palm Beach
Why Is Dental Care So Important?
Dental disease is the most common illness encountered in veterinary medicine today and affects 9 out of 10 pets. Unfortunately, it is also the most undertreated disease. Pets often go for years with painful gingivitis or even severe tooth root abscesses without noticeable clinical signs to the owner.
Dental disease puts tremendous demands on your pet’s organs, weakening the liver, kidney, and heart. This additional stress can affect your pet’s happiness and shorten life expectancy.
Signs to look for:
- Bad breath, which is one of the first signs of dental disease
- Yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
- Red, inflamed gums
- Loose or missing teeth
- Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the gums are touched
- Reluctance to play or chew toys
- Swelling around muzzle or jaw
Keeping Your Pet’s Teeth Healthy
Brushing your pet’s teeth is easy, and once familiar with the activity, he or she will look forward to this daily process. For the first few days, simply hold your pet as you normally do when petting him. For a minute or two, gently stroke the outside of his cheeks with your finger and praise him.
Next, introduce your pet to an animal toothbrush or finger brush. Gently raise his upper lip and place the brush against an upper tooth and the adjoining gum line.
Professional Dental Cleaning
Tartar and dental disease cannot be removed by brushing but requires professional veterinary treatment. There are different anesthetic protocols used depending on your pet’s age and health. Our doctors at Village Animal Clinic may run pre-anesthesia blood, urine, and an EKG test to determine the best anesthesia protocol.
A complete dental exam is performed before we begin any dental procedure. A dental chart is used to thoroughly record the dental health of your pet and any procedures done during the dental cleaning process.
Ultrasonic and hand scaling removes plaque and tartar above and below the gum line. A thorough scaling below the gum line is critical to the success of any dental cleaning, as this is where illness-causing bacteria hide.
Polishing smooths the surface of the teeth after scaling, making teeth resistant to additional plaque. Flushing removes dislodged tartar, plaque, and bacteria from the mouth.
We also now offer non-anesthesia dental treatment, for qualified pets. Consult with your pet’s doctor for more information on this procedure.