Affordable and impressive pet dentistry

Dental

Dental health is more than just cleaning your dog’s teeth regularly. Dental disease can contribute to many other health issues. Studies have shown that up 80% dogs and 70% cats have some sort of dental issues starting at the age of 3. Your pet's breath is an indicator of bad dental health. Dental diseases generally occur when bacteria remain in constant contact with teeth or gum and cause inflammation. Constant accumulation of bacteria results in a crust of tartar that can have severe effects on your pet's dental health.

It is therefore necessary that you have your pet visit the vet to have prophylactic dental treatment. At Kooringal Vet Hospital, we are focused on giving your pet more than just fresh breath and shiny teeth. We believe in complete dental and oral care. We thus use Dental X-ray to find the ‘root’ cause and the latest machinery for dental scales, polish and extraction procedures. In some extreme cases, we must perform surgery on your pet’s gums and use dissolvable sutures for the procedure. We also ensure we provide you with the best dental hygiene advice for your pet to keep their teeth shiny and bright.

Dental disease typically begins with a build-up of plaque, consisting of bacteria, food particles and saliva components, on the teeth. Plaque sticks to the tooth surface above and below the gum line and if not removed will calcify into tartar (also known as calculus). This appears as a yellow-brown material on the teeth. Over time the plaque and tartar can result in periodontal disease, which can result in irreversible changes to the teeth and supportive structures.

 

Periodontal disease can result in local problems, such as red and inflamed gums, bad breath, and the loss of teeth. There is also growing evidence that periodontal disease can be associated with disease in distant organs, including the heart, liver and kidneys. Ultimately, dental disease is more than just a cosmetic issue – it can be a cause of significant illness and pain in dogs and cats.

What if my pet has dental disease?

Firstly, you should have your pet's teeth examined by one of our veterinarians on a regular basis and if necessary, follow up with a professional dental clean. Your pet needs to be anaesthetised to carry out a thorough dental examination, and to clean all teeth without distressing them. Once anaesthetised, a complete dental examination is carried out. This process involves charting all present teeth and evaluating their condition, including the degree of tartar, gingivitis (gum inflammation) and any pockets in the gums around the teeth.

Our veterinarians will then clean the teeth using specialised instruments, including an ultrasonic scaler, just like a dentist uses for our teeth. The teeth are then polished using a dental polisher and specialised fine-grade paste. If the dental disease is not severe, the procedure will end here. However, if certain teeth are so severely affected they cannot be saved, extractions will be necessary.

In some cases, gum surgery is required to close the holes left behind when a tooth is extracted, and dissolvable stitches are used for this procedure.

Once all dental work is completed, your pet may be given an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory injection, the anaesthetic gas is turned off, and your pet is allowed to wake up. Pets are generally able to go home on the same day.
Following a professional dental clean, a dental homecare plan needs to be implemented to minimise build-up of plaque and tartar again. This may involve regular tooth brushing, and/or the feeding of special dental chews or diets.It is recommended that all pets be examined regularly after starting a dental homecare program to monitorits effectiveness.

How can I minimise ongoing dental disease?

Long-term control and prevention of dental disease requires regular dental home care. The best way to begin this is to acclimatise your pet from a young age. Dental home care may include:

Brushing teeth daily

just like us! This is the best form of dental hygiene. Pet toothbrushes and toothpaste are now available. Please do not use human toothpaste formulas as they are not designed to be swallowed and may be toxic to your pet.

Teeth Friendly Toys

Use of special dental chews, dental toys, or dental diets, all of which may help keep the teeth clean.

As with most things in life, when it comes to dental disease, prevention is definitely better than cure. Regular and frequent attention to your pet's teeth may avoid the need for a professional dental clean under anaesthetic, and will also improve your pet's overall health.

Call us on 02 6922 5375 to make an appointment to discuss your pet’s dental care needs.

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