What is Veterinary Dentistry?
Veterinary dentistry includes the cleaning, adjustment, filing, extraction, or repair of your pets’ teeth and all other aspects of oral health care. These procedures should be performed by a veterinarian or a board-certified veterinary dentist.
When should I have my pet’s teeth checked?
At Riverside Veterinary Hospital we recommend having your pet’s teeth checked by your veterinarian at least once a year. Have your pet’s teeth checked sooner if you observe any of the following problems:
- bad breath
- broken or loose teeth
- teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
- abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- pain in or around the mouth
- bleeding from the mouth
- swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth
My pet is eating well and not showing any signs of oral pain; Why should I have his teeth checked?
Most pets with painful dental conditions do not show clinical signs that are obvious to the owner, but this does not mean that they are not feeling pain, and sadly they cannot tell you about the pain.
Most painful dental conditions develop gradually and are more common in middle-aged and older pets. You may even notice that your pet seems to be acting “grumpy”. This behavior could be as a result of dental pain.
Will my pet need anesthesia to have a dental procedure?
General anesthesia is essential in order to perform a dental procedure to ensure that the procedure can be completed successfully. Is only natural to feel scared when a dental procedure is recommended and your pet needs to be put under anesthesia. However, the risk of chronic oral infection and pain, is far greater than the risk of an anesthetic complication. At Riverside Veterinary Hospital, we understand your concerns and we can assure you that we will do everything we can to ensure the safety of your pet. Any pet that is put under anesthesia in our hospital is thoroughly examined first, and we will talk to you about anything we find that could cause a risk for your pet while under anesthesia. While your pet is under anesthesia, we monitor your pet’s vitals just as they would do on you if you’re put under anesthesia.
Anesthesia allows us to do a thorough exam of your pet’s teeth and mouth. Since most problems occur below the gum line, they’re difficult to detect. If your pet is awake and resisting a thorough exam, a problem might be missed, which would not be in your pet’s best interest. Anesthesia also protects your pet by not allowing them to feel any discomfort during the procedure, and by reducing the risk of injury since they can’t move around.
What is the cost of a dental procedure?
Dental treatment is not inexpensive, especially when there is advanced dental disease present. However, it really costs a lot less to prevent dental disease than to treat it after there?s a problem. This is why regular dental exams are so important. At Riverside Veterinary Hospital, we offer veterinary financing through Care Credit, to make it affordable to treat your pet.
What type of preventative care can I do at home?
Brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most effective means to maintain dental health between professional dental cleanings. Please use pet-specific tooth paste. Other available products include oral gels and rinses, which contain chlorhexidine, the most effective anti-plaque antiseptic, as well as dental-specific diets.