Why should you be concerned about your pets dental health? Veterinary dentistry, much like human dentistry, includes preventive care, cleaning, adjustment, filing, extraction and repair of teeth. These procedures are performed by a veterinarian or a board-certified veterinary dentist. In some areas, veterinary technicians will perform certain dental procedures under the supervision of a veterinarian.
Typical steps of a pets dental health exam:
• The veterinarian will perform an overall oral exam. This includes looking at all the teeth. Both in the front and the back of the tooth.
• X-rays may be needed to evaluate the health of the jaw and tooth roots. Only an x-ray can see below the gum line.
• Dental cleaning under anesthesia includes scaling that will remove dental plaque and tartar; and also polishing. Most dental disease occurs below the gum line where you can’t see it. Damage may already be occurring even though the teeth look healthy.
Anesthesia is usually a last resort when doing dental work on dogs. Many pets will find motivation with a simple snack offering. Many dog allow humans to put there hands in the dog’s mouth. Sometimes, just the presence of their owner will allow for the calming effect needed that can make an exam possible without the use of drugs.
To read more about the importance of pet dental health and care from the AVMA, go to: https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Pet-Dental-Care.aspx