Dental hygiene is as important in animals as it is in humans, yet it is often overlooked in animals. Dental diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis can cause irreparable damage to the kidneys, the liver, the heart and even the brain. A dental diet, daily toothbrushing along with an annual exam and regular teethcleanings done by a veterinarian can help prevent these problems.
We recommend that animals' teeth be brushed everyday with an enzymatic toothpaste that is proven effective. If it's impossible to brush their teeth that often or if it's to complement toothbrushing, there are diets available that reduce plaque and tartar accumulation. Amongst the many different types of food that claim to do that, the ones that really work have the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) seal stamped on the bag.
There are also enzymatic treats and gels that can help clean teeth and refresh animals' breath. Once again, those that are really effective are approved by the VOHC. Nonetheless, they need to be used in conjunction with other types of dental care to provide a good dental and buccal hygiene to pets.
Even with the best at home dental care, animals still need to have their teeth cleaned by a veterinarian eventually. Indeed, at home dental care will only prolong the time between professional teethcleanings. This is why it is very important to consult with a veterinarian regularly so that the animal's teeth and mouth health status be evaluated. The veterinarian can then decide which dental care is the most appropriate for the animal at that time.
Our dentistry service is available all the time during our opening hours. First, a complete dental exam is done under general anesthesia followed immediately by a manual teethcleaning, an ultrasonic teethcleaning (piezoelectric) and a polishing. Dental extractions can be performed if needed.
All these procedures help to eliminate bad breath and prevent premature tooth loss and the afore mentionned diseases.
Digital dental radiographs are available in our hospitals. These provide invaluable information regarding the state of dental roots and they help detect dental abcesses and other parodontal diseases that are often not visible to the naked eye.
Dental radiographs are also useful to determine if certain teeth need to be extracted and if it is possible to do so. If not, it is often because the toothroot is merged with the bone beneath it. Without radiographs, this is impossible to know.
Even in young dogs and cats, dental radiographs are useful because they allow us to detect congenital (present at birth) abnormalities such as encysted teeth which, if not removed, can cause the loss of permanent teeth.
In many cases, teeth need to be removed. For example, when they are emprisoned underneath the gums, when the animal has too many teeth, when the positioning of the teeth compromises their occlusion, when there are cavities or dental resorption, and when there is severe parodontal disease, tooth fractures ou dental abcesses, etc.
It must be remembered that animals fare much better after bad teeth that cause them pain and other problems have been removed. They are quite able to eat without their missing teeth!