Routine dental care is essential to your pet’s overall health. Dogs, cats, and small animals are all prone to developing gum disease and decay without regular dental cleanings, periodontal maintenance, and home care.
Pets rarely show signs of painful or infected teeth, making regular dental cleanings even more important for their health.
Periodontal Disease in Pets
Gum disease is one of the most common preventable conditions in pets and occurs when bacteria in the mouth combine with food particles to create a sticky film called plaque. When left on the teeth, plaque quickly hardens into tartar and calculus and cannot be removed effectively without a professional dental cleaning.
Appropriate home care, including tooth brushing and dental treats, can slow the build-up of plaque, but it is likely it will still develop over time. At each wellness exam, one of our vets will examine the teeth and gums of your dog or cat to identify tartar buildup or signs of gum disease.
When left untreated, gum disease can cause systemic infections in the heart, kidneys, liver, and other organs. Bone loss can also occur, leading to continued tooth loss. Gum disease can also lead to painful abscesses, characterized by inflammation of the jaw or face, which can be life-threatening.
Why Choose an Anesthetic Dental Cleaning with Your Vet?
In accordance with the American Veterinary Dental College and the American Animal Hospital Association, we do not recommend anesthesia-free dental cleanings. Without anesthesia, it is impossible to remove the bacteria and tartar beneath the gumline that causes periodontal disease.
Additionally, when your pet is anesthetized, the vet can examine each tooth for decay and infection, performing any necessary extractions on the spot, which would be impossible with a non-anesthetic cleaning.
Since your pet’s comfort and safety is important to us, we recommend anesthetic dental cleanings because they are less traumatic and more complete for your dog or cat.
Your Pet’s Dental Cleaning
Any time we use general anesthetic, we perform bloodwork to rule out any complications or underlying health issues that could complicate the procedure. We also monitor your pet’s vitals, including heart rate, blood pressure, ECG (electrocardiogram), blood oxygen saturation, and temperature throughout and after their dental cleaning.
Each dental cleaning consists of a full dental exam, periodontal evaluation, and a dental scaling and polishing. We use an ultrasonic scaler, which reduces discomfort and improves healing times. A dental polish removes microscopic particles that could house bacteria.
If your pet requires advanced procedures such as dental extractions, gum surgery, or endodontics (root canal therapy) to relieve infection or an abscess, we will discuss any additional fees with you before proceeding. Following through with advanced procedures while your pet is anesthetized is ideal since it eliminates the need for an additional procedure at a later time.
Does Your Pet Have Bad Breath?
Bad breath is often a sign that an infection is present and it might be time for a trip to the pet dentist. Fortunately, our Golden veterinarian team is experienced in dental procedures, which could potentially prolong your pet’s life and increase their overall comfort and health.
We are known in the Lakewood, Golden, West Denver, Wheat Ridge, and Applewood communities for our pet dental cleanings and care.