Gotham Veterinary Center offers free dental health consultations. We offer guidance on at-home preventative care, complete dental prophylaxis (scaling, polishing, fluoride treatment) and oral surgery (periodontics, extractions, jaw fractures, palatal defects.)
If you have questions about any of our range of services, please call us or send us an inquiry.
Pet Dental Care
Did you know that oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets? Our veterinary team will exam your pet’s mouth, discuss any existing oral health problems, explain the available treatment options and help you design an at-home dental care program.
Why Should You Worry About Your Pet’s Teeth?
It’s as true for our pets as it is for us. In human medicine, periodontal disease has been proven to be linked to many disease processes. Based on studies done by the American Veterinary Dental Society, 85% of adult pets have some stage of dental disease. The bacteria found in the plaque and tartar can also cause harmful effects to our pet’s heart, lungs, kidneys and liver. If left untreated, this infection causing bacteria will lead to issues in the mouth like gingivitis, bleeding gums, excessive drooling, tooth decay, root infections, bone loss, abscesses, tooth mobility, and even tooth loss.
Almost all dogs and cats will continue to eat no matter what ailments they may be experiencing. This is true for one simple reason – the instinct of survival. To better relate, put yourself into their situation. Imagine if you were stuck on a deserted island with a broken or abscessed tooth. Would you stop eating? Certainly not! You would continue to eat, drink, breathe and live day to day. You would not be the healthiest or most comfortable person in the world, but you would learn how to live with it — and that is what our pets do. They learn how to live with it because they do not have a choice. They live in a world in which they cannot express themselves through words, but rather actions. So although they may not be able to tell us that one of their right lower molars is loose, they may instead choose to eat their food on the left side of their mouth. Still others may opt to swallow their food whole, shy away from dry food altogether, or simply prefer not to chew on their toys. It is up to you as a responsible pet parent to provide adequate medical attention, which includes proper dental care.
As with everything in life, preventative maintenance is much easier (and less expensive) than medical treatment. By doing regular home care and routine professional dental cleanings you can help prevent periodontal disease or diagnose it before it advances. This will save your pet from the pain and systemic harm dental disease can cause.
Develop an Oral Care Regimen at Home
Many veterinary dental approved products are available to help reduce plaque and tartar accumulation. The best way to keep your pet’s teeth clean is by brushing daily with a pet toothpaste and toothbrush. Pet toothpastes come in flavors that your pet may find enjoyable such as chicken, beef, peanut butter, malt, seafood and vanilla. If your pet enjoys the flavor of the toothpaste then they will probably enjoy the brushing experience. Just like us and mint flavored toothpaste!
A Guide To Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth
Use pet toothpaste, NOT human toothpaste as this can be harmful to your pet when swallowed. Look for products containing: Chlorhexidine, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, or Zinc Gluconate.
Use lots of positive reinforcement to make it an enjoyable experience for you and your pet so it becomes part of your daily routine.
Put the toothpaste and toothbrush somewhere where you will see it every day — next to their food, next to the leash, or on the coffee table. Make sure your pet cannot reach it and eat the entire tube.
Take Your Time
Go slow — every pet is different and will go through the steps at their own pace. Some will take a few days to get used to this new experience; some will take a few weeks. Stay committed, dedicated and patient.
If brushing your pet’s teeth is not possible, or you want to incorporate different products into your home care regimen, then talk to your veterinary care professional about dental wipes, oral gels, barrier sealants, rinses, water additives, dental diets and dental chews. Make sure to discuss any new products with them before trying them on your pet. The Veterinary Oral Heath Council (VOHC) approves products that have been proven to fight plaque and tartar buildup.
What Does A Professional Dental Involve And Why Is Anesthesia Necessary?
While we are strong advocates of home care there are instances when your pet may need a professional cleaning. In order for your pet to have a professional dental procedure they must first have a recent exam and pre-anesthetic bloodwork to make sure they are good candidates for general anesthesia.
General anesthesia is necessary to do a complete and safe job of removing the bacteria from all surfaces of the teeth. It is important to remove the bacteria from the subgingival spaces where periodontal disease begins. This is essential in providing the highest quality dental procedure.
Proper anesthetic protocol gives us the ability to clean, examine and treat any affected teeth. Oxygen and a gas inhalant is delivered through a cuffed endotracheal tube to keep an open and protected airway. This allows us to scale and polish all surfaces of the teeth, both above and below the gumline.
We are then able to perform a complete oral exam to note any abnormalities. This involves examining each individual tooth — cats have 30 teeth, dogs have 42. Every finding is charted into their permanent dental record. Digital dental radiographs are necessary to properly evaluate the health of the tooth and root structures.
Some conditions commonly found in the oral cavity are (but not limited to): loose teeth, missing teeth, retained baby teeth, fractured teeth, discolored teeth, worn teeth, rotated teeth, crowded teeth, gingival recession, exposed roots, abscessed roots, periodontal pockets, and oral masses.
The veterinarian will meet with you after the procedure to discuss everything that was done and develop a home care regimen with you for your pet.