pet
dentistry

Did you know that 80% of pets over the age of 3 have dental disease?

Dental disease is the most common medical condition diagnosed by veterinarians.

Dental disease is serious business!

Untreated pet dental disease can lead to pain, infection, tooth loss, and even damage the vital organs (such as the heart, liver and kidneys) when bacteria living on dirty teeth is spread through the bloodstream. 

Not only is dental disease painful, the longer it is left untreated, the more complicated (and costly) it becomes to address. 

Contributing factors to dental disease:

The Stages Of Pet Dental Disease:

Stage 1 – This early stage is characterised by gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) in response to the presence of mild amounts of tartar (which harbours bacteria) on the tooth’s surface. You may notice a thin red line on the gums next to the teeth. this stage of dental disease is reversible if addressed promptly.

Stage 2  – This stage occurs when there is visible inflammation of the gums, bad breath, and a moderate amount of tartar (turning to calculus – a thicker ‘crust) on the tooth’s surface. At this point, your pet will need a professional cleaning to thoroughly remove the tartar and calculus.

Stage 3 – At this stage, the gums will be irritated, swollen, bleed easily and begin to recede. 25-50% of bone loss will be visible on dental x-ray and there will be loss of gum attachment to the tooth. Your pet will experience bad breath and discomfort and may require tooth extraction.

Stage 4 – Extreme, chronic disease is evident in this stage. 50% (or more) of bone loss will be visible on oral radiographs. Your pet will experience discomfort and is at risk of systemic infection and damage to internal organs caused by bacteria from the mouth entering the bloodstream and spreading throughout the body. Tooth extraction is inevitable.

Why are Dental X-Rays Important?

Dental X-Rays are included in EVERY dental procedure at Greater Springfield Veterinary.

What Is Involved in a Dental Procedure at the Vets?

Sometimes, even with your best efforts towards preventative care, your cat or dog may require a dental procedure. This may be in the form of a professional ‘scale and polish’, tooth extraction, or some other form of oral surgery.  

After desexing surgery, tooth cleaning is the most common procedure performed by our vets. It’s an easy, short procedure, but does require general anaesthesia.

Your pet’s teeth will be thoroughly examined before any cleaning commences. A special dental instrument is used to probe just under the gum, around the base of every tooth.  We are looking for ‘pockets’;  an area beside or on the tooth that the dental probe may ‘dip’ into. A pocket can indicate bone loss around a tooth, a hole in the tooth, or, a developing infection. We also check for fractured teeth, worn teeth, missing teeth, enamel loss and/or misalignment of teeth, and all of our findings are digitally charted.

We take a full set of dental x-rays.  Our advanced handheld dental imaging equipment is used to visualise any dental issues lurking beneath the surface.  

We clean your pet’s teeth with an ultrasonic scaler (similar to a human dentist!), removing any plaque, tartar and calculus. Afterwards, the teeth are polished and buffed with a ‘fine-grit’ pet friendly toothpaste. 

Extractions may be required when dental disease severely affects certain teeth. Gum surgery to stitch any resulting gaps closed with dissolvable sutures is usually required thereafter.

Follow up appointments are complimentary for any pets who have a procedure performed at Greater Springfield Veterinary. Pets who have had extractions performed, may require more than one follow up to ensure everything is healing well.

We appreciate that you might be worried about your pet undergoing an anaesthetic. Rest assured, we use very high quality anaesthetics, possess top-of the line monitoring equipment and employ highly skilled staff to monitor your pet at all times (from admission to recovery).

Concerned About Your Pet’s Teeth?

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