Oral care for animals is very important–it decreases oral bacteria, dental decay, and infection as it increases the overall health, comfort, and wellbeing for your pet.
As specialists in small animal veterinary care, we now know that problems of the teeth and gums cause a wide variety of problems elsewhere in the body, such as diseases of the heart, kidneys, and lungs. Wellness care for all pets includes the three steps of oral care for preventing disease and maximizing a healthy life:
The first step "the prophylacticoral exam" is a simple and painless procedure incorporated into the pet’s regular wellness visit. In young pets, we examine the mouth for problems related to baby teeth and missing, broken, or extra teeth and to evaluate for any developmental abnormalities. In adult pets, we look for periodontal disease, oral tumors, and build-up of plaque and tartar. A veterinarian performs this simple oral exam while your pet is awake.
Take a look at our Oral Report Card, a helpful tool in identifying the level of dental health or disease in your pet.
The second step is prophylactic oral cleaning, performed under general anesthesia and recommended for all adult dogs and cats. Prior to anesthesia, we will ensure your pet is healthy enough to tolerate anesthesia and we will run blood tests, perform diagnostics, and check the heart with an EKG. We monitor your pet throughout the procedure with advanced monitoring equipment and regularly record all vital signs.
Once your pet is comfortably anesthetized, we will perform what we call our oral ATP, which stands for Assessment, Treatment, and Plan, and includes an extensive oral exam and radiographs.
Radiographs or dental X-rays–are needed periodically for a complete and accurate evaluation of your pet’s mouth. We use them to detect abnormalities and to determine the need for extraction of broken, loose, or infected teeth. At Greenhaven Animal Clinic, we offer state-of-the-art digital dental X-rays, technology that greatly enhances detail and accuracy.
Based on our findings, we will then perform a cleaning and polishing. If any oral surgery needs to be done, such as pulling any diseased, broken, or infected teeth, we will do this at this time. This would also include any tumor removal or gum surgery, as needed. These procedures will be followed by a sealer, Oravet Gel, to prevent future plaque and calculus build-up.
The third and final step in your pet dental program is your home dental care regime. Pet owners new to the idea of cleaning their pet’s teeth can take comfort in knowing how simple this process can be. Our staff will assist you in learning how to perform this simple step and in selecting the appropriate products to use for your specific pet. Home dental care for pets is easier than you think!
The Pet Health Center at WebMD offers this informative slideshow, How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth. The Pet Health Center also offers a variety of articles about oral care for pets, beginning with Brushing Your Dog's Teeth: How Beneficial Is It? and When Your Cat Has Bad Breath.
Check out Common Mouth Myths about your dog or cat!
Visit the Hill's Pet Nutrition, Pets Need Dental Care, Too website.
Read an overview of the AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for a simple explanation and learn what to expect from a quality veterinary dental program.
Greenhaven Animal Clinic is happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding pet oral care. Contact us for more information.