Oral hygiene is a very important aspect of pet health care. It is estimated that 80% of pets more than three years of age have significant dental disease. The same conditions that lead to our tooth and gum disease also occur in your pet's mouth. Cavities are not common but periodontal disease (the loss of bone around the tooth below the gum line) causes pain and discomfort. It also puts your pet at risk for other diseases including lung, heart, kidney, and joint infections. This happens when infected and bleeding gums allow bacteria to enter the blood stream and travel to these organs. At Kincardine Veterinary Services we believe in a Complete Oral Health Assessment and Treatment (COHAT) for every patient. This may entail brushing your new puppy’s teeth and ensuring their adult teeth come in properly, addressing tartar build up, and possible extraction on diseased teeth on the older pet.
Sometimes it is necessary to take x-rays to evaluate your pet’s oral health. Again, this procedure would be done within the clinic while the animal is under general anesthetic to ensure complete stillness of the head or jaw.
Some teeth that are badly infected may have to be extracted before the infection spreads throughout the mouth. Owners often report back that their old dog started to play fetch again after having its teeth cleaned and infected ones removed. Those same dogs never exhibited any obvious pain or refused to eat, but it was clear they were suffering from some discomfort.
Veterinary dental care takes place in the clinic. If your pet has existing periodontal disease, the only way to clean the teeth is under a general anesthetic. The teeth are examined, cleaned above and below the gum line and polished. Any abnormalities are recorded on your pet’s dental chart for future reference.
A thorough oral hygiene treatment by your veterinarian will take anywhere from 35 minutes to an hour, depending on the severity of the tartar and plaque buildup on the teeth.
We perform all radiographs in the clinic. Our x-ray machine can take pictures of the smallest finch that broke its wing, up to the ninety-pound Labrador that may have hip dysplasia.