the best care for your best friend
7299 West U.S. Highway 52
New Palestine, Indiana 46163
P: 317-623-5019 F: 317-623-5025
At-home dental care does not have to be difficult, as there are huge varieties of dental care products for daily use. At-home use dental care products help to slow the process of dental calculus build-up and decrease inflammation of the gums. The use of several types of daily dental care at home is ideal, as different teeth or tooth surfaces are targeted by different types of dental products.
Some great daily dental care options include:
-Dental Water Additives mixed into drinking water
-Dental Chews acting as treat, chewing outlet, and dental care
-Prescription Dental Diets offered as your pet’s daily diet
-Dental Powders sprinkled over food
-Oral Rinses flushing debris out of the mouth
-Dental Gels smeared onto teeth
-Toothbrushing with veterinary toothpaste (since human toothpastes can be toxic to pets)
Be wary of any products that claim to remove existing dental calculus. These claims are too good to be true, as only a dental cleaning under anesthesia can remove calculus safely.
The American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) is the veterinary dental specialist certification organization for North America that sets the standards of care for dental recommendations in pets. Please visit AVDC.org/ownersinfo.html for more information about the AVDC dental standards.
Like humans, cats and dogs are only given one set of adult teeth to use for life. Keeping these teeth functional and disease-free with yearly dental cleanings and daily dental care is extremely important for your pet’s overall health.
Visit "Farley's" and"Chuck's" Case studies to the right for many “Before” and “After” photos of their dental cleanings performed at The Vet, to view their digital dental radiographs and videos of tooth extractions!
Vet's Voices Newspaper Article written by Dr. Christal Morita-Keating
It is common as a pet owner to not think twice about your pet’s dental care until, one day, you notice bad breath when they lick you! “Out of sight, out of mind” is too often the approach taken to pet dental hygiene. However, avoiding dental care does not stop or even slow the gum and tooth disease that affects the vast majority of pets.
Dental disease causes pain, long-term mouth infections, and gum inflammation, but can also lead to tooth infections or loss, jaw bone loss or fractures, infections of organs - especially the heart and kidneys - and many more issues.
In extremely severe cases of dental disease, owners may observe their pet having difficulty eating, drooling, or dropping food and treats. However, I have seen numerous patients with severely loose teeth and tooth root infections that invaded the nasal cavity that had not stopped eating nor shown any outward signs that the owners had noticed before a routine physical examination.
A very common response that I hear from owners is that their pet is young, so dental disease is not a concern. My response to this is simple: Imagine that you stopped brushing your teeth today and then imagine how your teeth and gums would be affected in just several days, much less, a year later. All pets with teeth develop some degree of dental disease. Starting dental care before signs of dental disease is ideal.
By the time a dog reaches only one year of age, 90% will suffer from gum disease. Thirty percent of small breed dogs that are less than 15 pounds will have jaw bone loss by one year of age caused by dental disease. Jaw bones should be holding teeth in the mouth, not be eaten away by dental disease! Jaw bone loss is only seen with dental radiographs (x-rays).
The importance of dental radiographs cannot be ignored. Dental disease is noted above the gum line – in the portion of the mouth we cannot see with the naked eye - in 41% of cats and 27% of dogs that otherwise appear to have a normal dental examination under anesthesia. In pets with already visible dental disease, over half will also have other dental issues seen on dental radiographs. These alarming changes cause progressively worsened dental disease if left untreated.
A dog's teeth before dental cleaning.
Such prevalence of dental disease reveals why it is very important to prevent it from progressing! Performing yearly dental cleanings and using daily dental care products at home can greatly decrease the occurrence and severity of dental disease.
Dental cleanings under anesthesia allow us to...
…safely remove existing dental calculus,
…polish teeth so calculus cannot grip the surface as easily,
…evaluate all teeth surfaces,
…evaluate dental radiographs disease above the gum line,
…evaluate all surfaces of lips, mouth, and tongue,
…identify dental and other oral diseases early, and
…provide prompt treatments, if needed.
The same dog's teeth after dental cleaning.
Notice that you can see the roots of many teeth and many inflammed gums (gingivitis). The gums and jaw bone were dissolved by years of calculus accumulation, bacterial infection and inflammation.
"Had a wonderful experience at The Vet. Very thorough examinations by the techs and doctor. Love that they have weekend hours."
P: (317) 623-5019
F: (317) 623-5025
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