Dental Care For Cats & Dogs
When it comes to oral health for your dog or cat, prevention is key. Our doctors recommend an annual, anesthetized, comprehensive teeth cleaning and dental prophylaxis! Every patient who undergoes a dental procedure at our hospital has a team of staff members consisting of a dedicated anesthetist, trained dental hygienist and your pet’s veterinarian. Some clients are not used to this high standard of treatment, but this is OUR standard of care for your pet!
Your pet’s dental procedure at Pine Creek Vet includes our 11 steps as outlined below and we encourage you to ask us for the 11 step dental handout for more information on each of these steps.
- Anesthetized oral cavity exam
- Chlorhexidine rinse
- SUPRAgingival scaling
- SUBgingival scaling and curettage
- Sulcal lavage and Irrigation
- Fluoride treatment
- Individual tooth examination and charting
- Dental diagnostics including full mouth x-rays
- Periodontal disease staging
- Dental therapy such as extraction or root planing (if indicated)
Providing Comfort for Your Pet
Since your pet will be under anesthesia during their teeth cleaning, our dedicated anesthetist will constantly monitor your pet’s vital signs using our state of the art equipment. Comfort is also key! Your pet is wrapped in blankets and warming pads to keep them warm and snug throughout the procedure.
Full Mouth Digital Dental X-Rays
Providing our patients with the best animal dental care requires getting to the “root of matters”. Full mouth dental x-rays are the most important diagnostic tool veterinarians use to fully evaluate your pet’s oral health. Imaging the root structure and the surrounding bone tissue enables the doctors to stage your pet’s periodontal disease and plan appropriate therapy while your pet is anesthetized. We encourage you to experience the Pine Creek Vet 11 step dental procedure!
Our 11 Step Dental Process
Most of our pet owners are not accustomed to the high level of oral and dental care they experience at Pine Creek Vet. Because we consider pets to be an integral part of your family, we strive to treat them as you would expect yourself to be treated. When performed annually, our 11 step dental process can help keep your pet’s mouth fresh, clean, and healthy.
1. Exam and Lab Screening
We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all treatments at Pine Creek Vet. Before starting work, our doctors create a personalized anesthetic and treatment plan based off your pet’s complete physical examination, blood work, lab screening, age, and electrocardiogram.
2. Anesthetized Oral Cavity Exam
We can’t exactly ask your dog or cat to open up and say “ahh” while we poke around. Anesthetizing your pet ensures the procedure can be done thoroughly, properly, without pain for your pet, AND no one gets bit!
While under anesthesia, your pet is under constant supervision by our Certified Veterinary Technicians, trained dental hygienists, and their veterinarian. To keep them comfortable, we also wrap your pet in blankets and warming pads for the entire procedure.
3. Chlorhexidine Rinse
Chlorhexidine is a very effective anti-plaque antiseptic that we apply directly to your pet’s teeth and work into their gums and oral cavity. Starting with the rinse helps loosen the built-up plaque and bacteria on your pet’s teeth so we can more effectively clean them.
4. SUPRA-gingival Scaling (Above the gumline)
Like how your dentist cleans your teeth, we use an ultrasonic scaler to gently remove the built up plaque, from tooth surfaces. While kibbles, rinses, and some pet treats are advertised as being able to help keep teeth clean, they’re not a replacement for a complete cleaning, and a thorough scaling is needed to completely remove deposits that build up over the years.
5. SUB-gingival Scaling (Under the gumline)
After we’ve cleaned the top portion of the teeth, we dig in below the gum line to clean out the space between your pet’s teeth and gums. This is one of the most important aspects of your pet’s dental cleaning. If left unchecked, large colonies of bacteria can grow undisturbed here and damage your pet’s roots, gums, and jawbone and enter the bloodstream, leading to an extensive number of potential health issues later in life.
To finish off the first phase of your pet’s cleaning, we polish their teeth with a rotating brush and paste. Polishing helps remove small defects and irregularities on the surface of the teeth that can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria.
7. Rinse and Irrigation
With your pet’s teeth and gums shiny and clean again, we rinse them with air and water to clear out all the debris we just scraped off. In the end, you pet is left with some gleaming pearly whites.
8. Fluoride Treatment
The enamel on your pet’s teeth wears down over time and with use. Fluoride treatment won’t repair missing or damaged enamel, but it will fill in the gaps and create a strong, solid coating over the tooth surface to keep it safe from bacteria and mechanical wear.
9. Individual Tooth Examination and Charting
This is another crucial step that can never occur unless your pet is anesthetized. The doctor probes each tooth individually to detect any diseases hiding beneath the gum line and make a detailed record of our findings. Normal probe depths are 0-.5 mm in cats and 0-3 mm in dogs. A probe depth beyond these points indicates the presence of periodontal disease and should be treated aggressively to avoid further bone loss around the tooth.
10. Dental Diagnostics Including Full Mouth X-Rays
Roughly 80% of dental pathology (disease) lies below the gumline and therefore is not visible. This means that life threatening periodontal disease can go completely unnoticed. We X-ray your pet’s mouth during every dental exam to give us a complete picture of your pet’s oral health, identify potential problems, and track developing issues.
11. Dental Therapy Such as Extraction or Root Planing (If Indicated)
While we hope to avoid it whenever possible, we may have to recommend treatment such as tooth extraction or root planing depending on the progression of periodontal disease or other major issues we discover on your pet’s X-rays. We will always discuss all your options with you to help you make the best decision for your pet.