Dental health is essential to overall health. At Dwight Veterinary Clinic, we suggest annual or semi-annual exams and cleanings to prevent, diagnose, and treat dental disease. A dental exam is the first step towards proactive wellness. Dr. Haag will assess the health of your pet’s teeth and gums, while looking for signs of pain, inflammation, or abnormal masses.
Your pet is unable to communicate the pain and discomfort of dental disease! Common symptoms include: bad breath, excessive drooling, difficulty chewing, yellow or brown plaque on the teeth or near the gum line, decreased appetite, teeth chattering, weight loss, sneezing and nasal discharge, and irritability.
Dental cleanings do far more than keep your pet’s teeth white and sparkling! Regular dental cleanings prevent painful oral conditions such as periodontal disease, gingivitis, and bacterial infections. Poor dental health allows bacteria to accumulate and potentially spread to vital bodily systems, which may lead to serious conditions such as heart and kidney failure, liver damage, and a weak immune system.
General anesthesia is required for all dental cleanings. This is for your pet’s own comfort and safety! Pre-surgical bloodwork is highly recommended to ensure your pet can handle the effects of anesthesia. At Dwight Veterinary Clinic, we understand that any procedure can be stressful. We assure you that your pet is in good hands. Our highly-trained team of veterinary professionals will rigorously monitor your pet’s vitals from start to finish.
Complete dental health cannot be assessed or diagnosed with dental radiography. Over half of your companion’s teeth are below the gum line. For this reason, dental radiography is absolutely essential! Many painful oral conditions are left unseen such as foreign objects lodged in the gums, jaw and tooth fractures, abnormal roots, tumors, stomatitis, cysts, and abnormal, mal-positioned, missing, or dead teeth.
We also utilize dental x-rays during dental procedures and afterward when evaluating procedural success.
At-Home Dental Care
Between annual dental cleanings and exams, we strongly encourage at-home dental care. Aim to brush your pet’s teeth every 1-2 days, especially after a meal. At-home dental care reduces plaque build-up and oral bacteria that may lead to more detrimental conditions.
The younger the better! The younger your pet is when you begin brushing their teeth, the easier it will be for you. If your pet is too resistant, dental treats and toys are great alternatives. Not only will your pet love their treats and toys, but plaque build-up will be removed while their gums are massaged. We can further discuss at-home dental care and recommend pet toothpastes, toothbrushes, and oral solutions, as well as treats and toys.