Veterinary Dental Services
Our veterinarians and technicians provide veterinary dental services including routine cleaning and polishing (dental prophylaxis), surgical extractions, gingival surgery, periodontal treatments, gingival flap procedures and oronasal fistula repairs to manage and treat severe oral disease conditions.
When dental problems and oral diseases are diagnosed, sometimes a dental procedure may be necessary. Star Meadow Animal Clinic is equipped with state-of-the-art oral surgical equipment and the latest technology — such as an ultrasonic scaler, high-speed drill, polisher, and digital dental x-rays — to provide your pet with a safe (and advanced) dental procedure.
Pet Dental Care
Routine and preventive dental care is vital to your pet’s long term health. Pets with poor oral hygiene can develop periodontal disease, which can often lead to heart, lung, and kidney disease. Star Meadow Animal Clinic offers a full range of dental services for cats and dogs including dental examinations, dental extractions, and oral surgery as well as home care instructions for keeping your dog's or cat's teeth clean and healthy.
Routine Pet Dental Examinations
Our veterinarians perform basic oral exams on all our patients during their comprehensive physical exam. Puppies and kittens will be examined to detect any problems related to the deciduous (baby) teeth, missing or extra teeth, swellings, and oral development. Senior pets will be evaluated for developmental anomalies, the accumulation of plaque and tartar, periodontal disease, and oral tumors.
Good Oral Hygiene for Pets
Dental hygiene is a very important part of your pet’s health care. Since our pets cannot brush for themselves, it is up to us to do so. By three years of age, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have moderate gingivitis (gum disease). The bacteria in the mouth accumulate along the teeth and gums forming plaque. As the plaque continues to grow, the gingiva (gums) becomes inflamed, reddened, and painful. If this process continues, bacterial invasion into the bloodstream via diseased gums may harm the liver, kidneys, and heart.
Brushing the teeth is the most effective way to remove the bacteria that causes plaque. Here are a few tips to help your pet get used to having its teeth brushed:
- Start by introducing the toothpaste as a pea-sized offering as a treat for about a week. This will get your pet used to the toothpaste’s texture and taste. (NEVER use human toothpaste).
- There are a few options you have for brushing your pet’s teeth:
- A toothbrush of appropriate size. If you have a small dog or cat you may want to try an infant’s toothbrush (they are smaller and softer on their gums).
- A finger brush. These are composed of a hard rubber material that sits over your finger like a thimble. It has a rough edge to help with physical removal of the plaque.
- Gauze or a wash cloth wrapped around your finger. These tend to be softer on the gums than the finger brushes. Once you decide on an instrument, you will want to place a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the item you choose to use, and let your dog or cat take the tasty treat from it. This process will get your pet acclimated to the instrument and toothpaste together.
- Now that your dog or cat will take the paste from the brushes, it is time to place the toothbrush with toothpaste into its mouth. Just let your dog or cat chew on, sniff, or bite the brush. By doing this, your pet will learn that the brush is not hurting them; they will realize that their tasty treat is on that brush.
- After you have gotten through these steps and you are able to put the brushes in his/her mouth, try some strokes. They may not tolerate that as much, but do what you can. Holding your pet is just as important. When you get to the point where you are putting the toothbrush in your pet’s mouth, we do not want anyone, pet or owner, being hurt. If you can sit with your pet on the floor, between your legs, this will prevent them from being able to back away from you. Gently lift your pet’s head from under the chin. Your pet will not fight as much if you lift his/her head this way. Place one hand on one side of the face and muzzle; this will give you good control over the head. You should be able to place the toothbrush under the lips and brush your pet's teeth.
Dental Care Tips for Dogs and Cats
- Schedule a dental oral exam for your dog every year
- Schedule regular dental cleanings as recommended by your veterinarian
- Brush your pet's teeth daily, or give your pet a dental hygiene chew every other day
- Serve dog or cat food and treats that control tarter and plaque and promote good dental health
Remember, you will not have success in one day, or even one week. It will take time to get yourself and your pet comfortable with daily brushing. If you have any questions or suggestions that may help other clients, please give us a call!