Can you imagine a life without pets? Our pets bring us so much joy and enrichment. Life wouldn't be quite the same without them. Although pets quickly become cherished members of the family, they ...View Article
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The 5 Most Common Questions Regarding Pets & Dental Health
1. How often does my pet need a dental cleaning?
In a simple answer—only as often as needed. For some dogs this is as often as yearly, for others it is only needed once or twice in a lifetime. Most pets fall somewhere in between. Regular dental examination (yearly) is the best way to determine what an individual pet needs.
2. My pet is eating fine so how can there be dental problems or pain?
This is a frequent finding despite obvious pain and discomfort on dental evaluation. Possible explanations include:
3. Why is anesthesia needed to clean teeth?
In order to clean the teeth to resolve any periodontal disease, discomfort, or infection locally or affecting the entire body, four things need to be performed.
4. I am concerned about the risk of anesthesia for a cleaning, is it safe?
Anesthesia is a serious consideration and should never be taken lightly. In order to clean the teeth to resolve or prevent health problems and discomfort, ultrasonic scaling is necessary. Ultrasonic scaling cannot be done safely without general anesthesia. Additionally, many unexpected lesions are found once the teeth are cleaned resulting in the need for dental radiographs, probing, and sometimes extractions. Anesthesia is again needed for these procedures. So, safe dental cleaning cannot be done without anesthesia.
Anesthesia, for any purpose, does have risk. However, if blood work is normal and anesthesia is performed in a cautious and safe manner (IV catheter, fluids, antibiotics, complete and continuous monitoring) then the risk is very small. The risk is similar to that associated with a spay or neuter if performed as described above in an otherwise healthy patient.
5. What can I do to prevent the need for a dental cleaning?
There are many things that can be done to slow the accumulation of tartar. Depending on your pets breed and individual predisposition some of these techniques may have varying success. Some proven methods to reduce tartar accumulation and keep the mouth and body healthy:
Please remember that even with the most cooperative pet and diligent attention by the owner cannot prevent completely the progression of dental disease. Eventually, cleaning under anesthesia may be needed. This is similar to the fact that, despite brushing and flossing daily, many people visit the dentist every six months with problems noted on exam.