Dental Care

At Home Preventative Oral Care

Good oral hygiene is very important to the overall health of your pet.  85% of pets have periodontal disease by 3 years of age.  There are a number of things that you, as the pet owner, can do to delay or completely prevent the development of periodontal disease. Incorporating the following into your routine at home can even become a bonding time between you and your pet. 

Brushing your cat or dog's teeth:   The key to brushing is to introduce the idea to your pet very slowly, so that they can learn to enjoy the process. Click on our Brushing Your Pet's Teeth to learn how to make this seemingly difficult task easier.

Water additives:  There are some antiseptic additives that are safe to put in your pet's water.  These kill bacteria in the water and the mouth.  If you are interested in trying this product, contact your veterinarian at Lake Lansing Road Animal Clinic. 

Dental-oriented treats or foods:  Some veterinary diets are specially formulated so that the kibble doesn't break apart until the tooth has sunk well into the kibble.  This allows a scraping action on the teeth to remove dental plaque. 

There are many dental-oriented treats on the market. It is important to choose a treat that your pet will not be able to break into large chunks that may be swallowed, potentially resulting in intestinal obstruction.  For treat recommendations, please call your veterinarian at Lake Lansing Road Animal Clinic.

Veterinary Dental Care: Preventative and Surgical

Dogs and cats often do not show obvious signs of pain and discomfort from dental disease until it is advanced, but they don't have to suffer through this.  Regular check-ups will help your vet detect early periodontal disease and help tailor a treatment plan to your pet's needs.  Your veterinarian may recommend a dental cleaning for your pet. 

Regular cleanings work well to stave off periodontal disease, but sometimes your pet is in a more advanced stage of periodontal disease and may require more extensive care.  Unfortunately, dogs and cats do not tolerate having their teeth scraped and thoroughly cleaned and evaluated while awake (imagine yourself at the dentist!), and so a dental requires general anesthesia.   Your pet will be intubated in order to protect his or her airway from the water used and the plaque that is disturbed with the process. 

A dental cleaning at Lake Lansing Road Animal Clinic includes the following:

    Removal of the visible dental tartar with an ultrasonic scaler and hand instruments. 
    Probing the gingival attachment to all teeth to detect detachment and periodontal disease. 
    Root planing to remove dental tartar below the gum line. 
    Polishing the enamel.
    Antiseptic or fluoride treatment.

Dental Radiographs (X-rays): Tell the story a doctor cannot learn from visually examining the mouth!

If significant periodontal disease is detected during the cleaning process, your veterinarian may need to take a dental radiograph to assess the extent of disease below the gumline. The dental x-ray shows the root, the bone surrounding the tooth, and the inside of the tooth.  Often dental disease is more extensive than it appears upon visual examination (the "tip of the iceberg" effect). 

Surgical Extractions and After Care:

If a tooth requires extraction, a local anesthetic block will be administered so that your pet will be pain-free upon waking and for hours afterwards.  A thorough dental chart of your pet's mouth will be created and provided to you at discharge.  Any dental x-rays that were taken will also be printed for you and discussed.  You will receive a detailed instruction sheet for care at home after your pet's dental.