The Importance of Pet Dentistry Services
Dental Care is an important part of keeping your pet healthy. Periodontal disease is one of the most common problems identified during physical examination visits in dogs and cats, and most pets have some degree of periodontal disease by the time they are 3 years old. Periodontal disease begins with the accumulation of bacteria-laden plaque on tooth surfaces and along the gum line. Over time the plaque hardens into calculus. This leads to inflammation of the gum tissue and damage to the supportive structures around the tooth root including periodontal ligament and bone. In advanced stages, periodontal disease leads to chronic pain and tooth loss, as well as potential impacts on the heart, liver, and kidneys due to the bacterial load in the mouth.
Preventive Dental Care
Beginning a good dental care program early in your pet’s life can go a long way in preventing problems. Starting with your young pup or kitten, you can begin working with the mouth and practicing home dental care such as tooth brushing. Our veterinarians can also recommend specific AVDA (American Veterinary Dental Association) approved dental treats.
Pet Dentistry Packages at River City Veterinary Care
When home dental care is not enough and your pet needs professional teeth cleaning, River City Veterinary Care offers full-service pet dental care including dental cleaning and extractions. Dental Packages are included in our Essential Care Plus plans for cats and dogs. Dental packages include the following:
- Pre-anesthetic blood testing: CBC and chemistry profile are run prior to anesthesia. This gives us important information about your pet’s blood counts and organ functions, which may impact the choice of anesthetic drugs and post-dental medications
- Injectable medications: prior to general anesthesia, your pet will receive injectable medications for sedation, pain control, and antibiotic coverage
- IV catheter and fluids: intravenous access and fluid administration during general anesthesia ensure that your pet maintains good blood flow to vital organs and optimal blood pressure; this also allows for administration of drugs during anesthesia as needed to help control heart rate, achieve deeper anesthesia, and control pain during procedures Additional fees apply for extractions, oral surgery, extended anesthesia, and medications for home after-care.
- General anesthesia and anesthetic monitoring: during dentistry, your pet will be intubated and administered anesthetic gas, so they will remain unconscious. Anesthetic monitoring including vital signs, ECG, blood pressure, oxygenation level, and CO2 level, are tracked throughout the procedure so that if there are any concerning changes, appropriate interventions are made.
- Full mouth radiographs: 90% of dental disease issues are below the gum line. We perform full-mouth digital dental x-rays on every dental patient in order to fully assess each patient’s dental problems. X-rays may reveal issues that are not apparent with visual inspection and probing, such as root abscesses, retained roots from prior tooth fracture, and ankyloses (fusion to bone) of tooth roots.
- Dental scaling, polishing and charting: after completion of dental radiographs, the veterinary team will clean the teeth with an ultrasonic scaler, followed by polishing, which reduces re-accumulation of plaque. Dental charting is then done, probing each tooth to check for periodontal pockets, fractures, mobility, resorptive lesions or dental caries.
Additional fees apply for extractions, oral surgery, extended anesthesia, and medications for home after-care.