A dental health care program includes:
· Regular visits to your veterinarian, which include an oral exam
· Veterinary dental cleaning and dental X-rays as advised
· Daily home oral care
Oral Exams by Your Veterinarian: A thorough dental exam can identify potential problems such as plaque and tartar buildup, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and fractured or abscessed teeth.
During an oral exam Dr. Lofsky will:
· Examine the face and head for asymmetry, swelling, or discharges.
· Examine the outside surfaces of teeth and gums, and the “bite.”
· Open the mouth to examine the inner surfaces of the teeth and gums and the tongue, palates, oral mucosa, tonsils, and ventral tongue area.
· Palpate and assess the size, shape, and consistency of the salivary glands and the lymph nodes in the neck.
Dental Cleaning by Dr Lofsky:
To prevent dental disease, your pet needs routine dental care at home. But to perform good home care, you need to start with clean teeth. Brushing will remove plaque but not tartar. So if your pet’s teeth have tartar, it is necessary for your veterinarian to remove it and polish the teeth.
This professional veterinary dental cleaning is often called a prophylaxis or “prophy.” A routine dental cleaning consists of:
· Anesthetizing your pet.
· Flushing the mouth with a solution to kill the bacteria.
· Cleaning the teeth with handheld and ultrasonic scalers. All calculus is removed from above and below the gumline. This is critical and can only be done if the animal is under anesthesia.
· Polishing the teeth to remove microscopic scratches.
· Inspecting each tooth and the gum around it for any signs of disease.
· Flushing the mouth, again, with an antibacterial solution.
· Recording any abnormalities or additional procedures on a dental chart.
· Determining the best follow-up and home dental care program for your pet.
Dental health care is an important part of keeping pets healthy, and, just like you and me, pets need dental x-rays, too. X-rays help us view and then appropriately treat teeth and bone that are hidden from view.
Examining a pet’s mouth can be compared to an iceberg. You may be able to see the exposed tooth or iceberg floating on the water but you will never know what is going on under the gum line unless you x-ray it.
Dental x-ray allows your veterinarian to examine teeth, bone and the supporting structures below the gum line. X-rays often reveal hidden and painful conditions and for that reason, wilmot veterinary clinic recommends dental x-rays during every dental procedure.
When must dental x-rays be taken?
· during every dental procedure
· periodontal disease presence
· loose teeth
· bleeding gums
· broken teeth
· discolored teeth
· missing teeth without explanation
· oral or facial swelling presence
Daily Home Oral Care: Home oral care includes routine examinations of your pet’s mouth and brushing her teeth.
Home oral exam: As you care for your pet’s mouth, look for warning signs of gum disease such as bad breath, red and swollen gums, a yellow-brown crust of tartar around the gumline, and pain or bleeding when you touch the gums or mouth. You should also watch for discolored, fractured, or missing teeth. Your veterinarian should also check any bumps or masses within the mouth.
Oral Care Products: There are several veterinary oral health council diets, treats, and water additives on the market that have been clinically proven to reduce plaque and tartar build-up.
Pet Dental Education Resources
ToothVet – Postoperative Dental Care Videos