Dental Care

Dental Care

Despite what many pet owners may believe, “dog breath” is not just a nuisance – it’s a sign of an unhealthy mouth. Bad breath is caused by bacteria. Over time, bacteria leads to plaque and tartar buildup on your pet’s teeth. The result is bad breath, reddened gums, and other common signs of dental disease. As dental disease progresses, other signs can include drooling, discomfort while chewing, and loose or missing teeth. Even if you’re using treats and chews to help control tartar, these are frequently not enough to keep dental disease in check. Ask us about the best ways to control plaque and help protect your pet from dental disease.

Dental hygiene is an important part of your pet’s health because dental disease can be associated with other serious health problems such as heart disease and kidney disease. But how do you know if your pet has a healthy mouth? We will examine your pet’s teeth and gums to help determine if there are any dental issues you should know about. After a brief visual examination, we may recommend a more detailed examination (which requires sedation), a dental cleaning, or options for at-home dental care.

We can offer expert advice to help you keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy! Dental health shouldn’t be taken for granted. Fortunately, many dental problems can be managed through at-home care and by bringing your pet to us for regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings. We want your pet to live a long, healthy life, and maintaining a healthy mouth is part of that. Call today to discuss your pet’s dental care needs and how we can help!

Tustana Animal Hospital Dental Package:

Blood Work: A full total health profile is performed in the morning prior to anesthesia. This is to pick up on any abnormalities and ensure the safety of our patients.

General Anesthesia for routine prophylaxis: Each patient has their own anesthetic protocol based on their age and other factors. General anesthesia allows us to thoroughly examine the whole mouth, take dental radiographs and clean pockets and provide other treatment if indicated. It is also much less stressful for our loved ones.

Anesthesia Monitoring: Unfortunately anesthesia isn’t 100% risk-free. However, the good news is that complications are extremely rare. To reduce the risk of any anesthetic complications the doctor will examine each pet before the procedure, they will review pre-anesthetic blood work and base their anesthetic plan on those findings.

All our patients are connected to an anesthetic monitoring machine which measures the pulse oximetry(oxygen saturation of their blood), ECG (heart rate and rhythm), blood pressure, and temperature. We also have a dedicated technician monitoring the patient under anesthesia.

We maintain body temperature under anesthesia with the latest bair hugger technology- imagine a blanket of circulating warm air covering the patient.

IV Fluids: All patients have an IV catheter placed, this allows us to give them their drugs safely and painlessly. We also keep all our patients on IV fluids whilst under anesthesia to support their blood pressure and circulation.

Full Mouth Dental Radiographs:  Dental radiographs are taken of all the teeth in the mouth. This allows us to accurately assess the health of the mouth and teeth both above and below the gum line. Did you know up to 60% of dogs teeth are below the gum line?

Dental Prophylaxis: The whole mouth is probed by our doctor checking for signs of periodontal disease and other issues, this is all recorded on a dental chart. The teeth are then scaled with a high-frequency water-cooled scaler to remove all the tartar and calculus. Once scaling is finished the teeth are polished to leave a smooth surface to make it more difficult for tartar to attach. Finally, a fluoride gel is applied to help strengthen the enamel.

We monitor our patients under anesthesia for several hours after their procedure before sending them home the same evening.

Our aim is to provide thorough dental prophylaxis to keep our patient’s mouths healthy and avoid having to extract teeth. Unfortunately, there are often times where we are already dealing with substantial dental disease, and teeth may be infected and causing pain and a constant source of bacteria for the body. In these cases, we sometimes will recommend extracting diseased teeth or other periodontal treatments. This will be based on probing of the mouth under anesthesia and what we see on their dental radiographs. Extractions, periodontal, and other non-routine treatment, along with medications that may need be required (antibiotics/ pain relief etc.) are NOT included in the dental package.