Dental Care Prevention

Dental Disease Prevention-Professional Dental Cleaning

When Should I Start Dental Care for My Pets?

Good dental care must start now because, just like us, your pet needs to get used to having a dental care routine. He will need to get used to having his mouth and teeth handled. This way, when he gets older he will willingly accept this dental care routine. Your veterinarian will discuss your pet’s mouth health with you during your wellness examinations. We will show you how to brush your pet’s teeth, and will recommend a professional dental cleaning when needed.

Professional Dental Care at Jefferson Animal Hospital

Our own teeth are scaled by a dentist or hygienist-we sit in the chair and open our mouth when requested, letting the professional do their work.  While the principles of good oral hygiene and dental health are the same for dogs and cats as for people, there are some significant differences.  We understand why the procedure is important and we typically do not need sedation or restraint.  This is not true for our pets.  Another important difference between human and veterinary dental practice is that we tell the dentist when there is discomfort.  To ensure that nothing is missed in dogs and cats, our patients require a thorough oral examination as part of a dental scaling procedure.  We believe in administering pain medication as part of your pet’s dental care.  Once your pet’s teeth have been cleaned, your pet’s mouth will be healthier and pain free!

Our Dental Exam and Professional Cleaning Process

  • Pet dentals require anesthesia for proper below the gum cleaning just like your dental care.   X-rays tell the picture below the gums.
  • Your pet will receive a comprehensive oral exam during which your pet’s whole mouth and each tooth is evaluated.  The findings will be discussed with you so that the best treatment decisions can be provided for the health and comfort of your pet.
  • We recommend digital dental radiographs to make sure the tooth roots are healthy and there is no bone loss
  • Your pet will receive a blood test to check the health status of his or her vital organs.
  • A sedative will be given to your pet to make him/her more comfortable.
  • We use the safest anesthetics available plus state of the art monitoring
  • Using advanced equipment, each tooth will be scaled above and below the gum line using ultrasonic equipment and hand scaling techniques to remove plaque and calculus.
  • Each tooth will be polished to delay the re-attachment of plaque/calculus by smoothing the tooth surface after scaling is completed.
  • A member of our staff will call you with a status report once the procedure has been completed.
  • Your pet is usually sent home the day of the procedure.
  • Medication(s) and aftercare instructions will be clearly explained to you.

What can I do to Keep My Pet’s Teeth Healthy?

At Home Pet Dental Care

Brushing – This can be accomplished with a soft washcloth, or a soft pediatric tooth brush, or a finger brush.

Toothpaste – You can’t use human toothpaste with your pet because they will swallow it! There are several special products that you can purchase that are safe to use, and will taste good to your cat or dog too!

Treats – There are several different treats that we recommend that will help your pet’s teeth. For cats, there are the CET Chews, and for dogs, there are Chews or you can use the T/D diet!We do not recommend rawhide. It can cause some stomach upset and can also be a choking hazard!

Toys – There are many different toys on the market that can help with dental care. “Greenies” are a popular product available in pet stores, and Nylabones are a good alternative to rawhide because pieces cannot break off. If you have any questions about specific toys, please ask!