Vet Guide | The Importance of Dental Care in Pets and The Process of Dental Cleaning

I'm dr. Clayton Greenway with healthcare for pets com1 big problem we see in our pets is dental health and it's largely overlooked you can imagine with us we brush our teeth two three times a day we go to the dentist twice a year and they scrape our teeth for about 20 minutes our pets have nothing like that so they accumulate tartar quite dramatically and it's largely overlooked by clients we don't typically look in our pets mouths and over time their dental health can really degrade and it can affect other parts of their life they can have pain in their mouth they can have teeth that start to disintegrate or get what we call neck lesions or cavities they can also get periodontal disease they can get tooth root infections and these infections can also spread to other areas of the body so if you're providing good health care for your pet then you're providing good dental care as well I wanted to talk a little bit about that the first thing is is it's good to look at your pets teeth from time to time you can take a look at our videos on the staging of dental health in your pets mouth and that will tell you exactly what level of dental disease there is if you take a look you'll start to see that the gums they'll start to get red after there's a lot of tartar that accumulates and that redness is gingivitis now you can have as much tartar on the teeth as you like if you perform a dental cleaning it removes that but once you start to get gingivitis that's where pockets can form and levels of disease that don't correct themselves after a dental cleaning so the process of this is it can be done at most veterinary clinics what it involves is a general anesthetic so you always want to take bloodwork beforehand you want have a good listen to the heart make sure there's no heart conditions and it's really important not to be afraid of that general anaesthetic dental health is really important and stiva these days is quite safe I find that's what clients try to do is they they get a little nervous about the general anesthetic and that prevents them from providing good health care for their pets mouth so you want to talk to your veterinarian about that it's usually a day procedure and the other thing is is you want to get an estimate because it's costly and quite frankly it's difficult to convince clients that this is important it's a really unseen problem and you really want to get in there take a look because it can really impact your pet's health so the process of a Dent history is that the teeth are scaled and then polished but what your veterinarian will also do is look for defects in the teeth and pockets to see if any teeth need to be extracted this is something that owners always seem to worry about but as veterinarians we know that it's necessary to prevent pain in certain teeth and really address disease down the road you want your vet to extract a tooth that's going to be a problem if they don't you're going to be back at the vet having another dental problem within six to twelve months the other thing your vet might do is take x-rays of the mouth and that's really important because the tooth roots can't be seen when they're just visually inspecting it they have to take x-rays to see if there's any lesions down in the roots and that that tooth may need to come out pets do really well with dental cleanings and also with extractions just make sure that your vet is giving good pain control and antibiotics afterwards and they'll do great with that so I always find that it's difficult to convince people to do this sort of thing but you have to find a vet that fits your philosophy of ownership let's face it some people will never do good dental care on their pets just from the expense of it but if you can afford it it will make a big difference in your pet going forward and their overall health because what's most important to us is your pets health here at health care for pets calm you

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