Veterinary dentistry is constantly progressing. Dental care is necessary to provide optimum health and to optimize quality of life. Untreated diseases of the oral cavity are painful and can contribute to local and systemic diseases. We strive for preventive oral health care, good client communication, good oral evaluation, dental cleaning, and treatment. In addition, we have the materials and equipment necessary to perform a medically appropriate procedure. To see a video on the importance of Dentistry click HERE
One of the changes for accredited hospitals by the American Animal Hospital Association like ours is that we do not perform nor do we recommend anesthesia-free cleanings. AAHA-accredited veterinary hospitals must anesthetize and intubate all dental patients under a new standard of care. This challenges the practice of anesthesia-free cleanings seen increasingly in our industry.
The rule, part of the updated 2013 AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats, applies to cleanings and any other dental procedure. The guidelines state that general anesthesia with intubation is necessary to properly assess and treat the companion animal dental patient and because AAHA hospitals are expected to practice the highest level of veterinary excellence, AAHA’s leadership felt it necessary to update this dental standard so that they reflect best practices outlined in the guidelines. The policy has the support of the American Veterinary Dental College.
To do this safely and with the highest quality our dental procedures are performed in our dental suite.
Our dedicated dental suite is separate from the sterile surgical suite. It includes Low-heat, high-intensity lighting, dental radiology, two warming systems both water blanket and Bair Hugger, Isoflurane gas anesthesia delivery and ventilation, anesthesia monitoring with ECG, blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and respiration and a full suite of dental instrumentation.
Essential Steps for Professional Dental Cleaning
The essential eight steps for a professional dental cleaning and periodontal therapy here are:
1. We perform an examination and oral evaluation of the conscious patient.
2. We radiograph the entire mouth, using intraoral digital radiography.
Full mouth radiographs are necessary for accurate evaluation and diagnosis. In one published report, intraoral radiographs revealed clinically important pathology in 27.8% of dogs and 41.7% of cats when no abnormal findings were noted on the initial examination. In patients with abnormal findings, radiography revealed additional pathology in 50% of dogs and 53.9% of cats.
These two radiographs are examples of normal dental x-rays of a dog. On the left are normal premolars and on the right are normal canines and incisors.
This cat appeared to have normal teeth but instead had had a large cavity (arrow) eating away at the tooth and the bone below the gum line and invisible to the eye.
This dog appeared to have normal teeth but instead had a root fracture on his 4th premolar (arrow). This is very painful and without extraction the infection would have abscessed onto the face below the eye. We extracted the tooth.
3. We evaluate the patient for abnormal periodontal pocket depths using a periodontal probe. The depth that is considered abnormal varies depending on the tooth and size of the dog or cat. In medium-sized dogs, the probing depth should not be 0.2 mm, and in the mid-sized cats, the depth should not be greater than 0. 1 mm. For large pockets or bleeding gums we place Clindoral periceutical gel to fight the infection. Clindoral is a periodontal filler that contains 2% clindamycin hydrochloride in a biodegrading gel matrix that releases clindamycin over seven to 10 days from a single application.
4. We scale the teeth supra- and subgingival using an ultrasonic scaler.
5. We polish the teeth using a low-speed hand piece and with prophy paste that is measured and loaded on a disposable prophy cup for each patient.
6. We perform subgingival irrigation to remove debris and polishing paste and to inspect the crown and subgingival areas.
7. We apply OraVet antiplaque to delay plaque development.
8. We recommend tooth brushing or Healthy Mouth for our patients to maintain home oral hygiene. Too see a great instructional video on brushing your dogs teeth click HERE and your cat’s teeth HERE. Use appropriate toothpaste, be patient, and be persistent. The goal is 2-3 times a week.
We take certain additional steps with severe periodontal disease of when radiographic lesions are evident.
1. When indicated by radiology, we extract teeth when gingival recession bone loss is over 50% of the root support, when crowns or roots are fractured, when teeth are infected, or when there are severe cavities or erosions exposing the dentin or pulp. For three rooted and large canine teeth we fill the gap in the bone with Consil which is a biosynthetic bone graft material. We take post extraction radiographs to make sure the bone is clean and all roots are removed.
2. We biopsy all abnormal masses that are visualized grossly or noted on radiographs and submit all samples for histopathology to be analyzed by a pathologist at our reference lab.
Please feel free to contact us regarding our dental services