Care of your pet's teeth is a lifetime commitment. It is our commitment as well. Over the course of the last several decades, pet's lifespan is increasing. Dental care is a big part of this increase.
Dental care starts with your puppies and kittens. At this time we will talk to you about brushing the teeth on a daily basis. Start slow and build the habit. Pet toothpaste is meant to be swallowed, human toothpaste is not. We have a video on our Newport Harbor Animal Hospital website showing how to brush a dog's teeth. You might recognize Dr. Carpenter's dog, Marley.
During each exam our doctors will examine the mouth and teeth. At this time we may talk to you about scheduling a dental procedure under a general anesthesia. We take the utmost care to protect your pet during this procedure and will detail this and answer any questions you have about the anesthesia. Anesthesia allows a thorough cleaning and examination of the mouth including under the gum line. We take full mouth dental X-rays just as you would at your own Dentist. The American Animal Hospital (AAHA) produced the dental guidelines for our profession. This document was written by a respected panel of experts. Concerning dental X-rays, if you have a dog under anesthesia with the teeth cleaned and examined by the veterinarian, 28% of these patients will have problems visible on X-rays that the doctor could not find. The figure for cats is an even more startling 42%. This is why our doctors think X-rays at the time of the dental are so important.
If it becomes necessary, our doctors are skilled in surgical extractions. This minimizes trauma and improves healing. Our job is to do anything to relieve pain. Pain medications and local anesthetic blocks will be used. They are also adept at treating periodontal disease. It is amazing how often owners will comment on the improvement of their pet's behavior after a dental procedure.
If you have any questions about your pet's teeth, please give the staff of our AAHA accredited hospital a call. We are here to help.