Periodontal disease isn’t just bad breath. It’s a painful infection affecting the entire mouth. Poor dental hygiene puts your pet’s overall health at risk and weakens the special bond you share. Pets with periodontal disease are less huggable and less playful; some are even grouchy and may bite or snap at family members and friends.
Many pet owners put off appropriate dental care because of their own fears and stress. A lot of us are afraid of going to the dentist, and we project this onto our pets. We also know that effective pet dental care requires general anesthesia, and we worry about that, too…
It’s true: general anesthesia is a requirement for stress-free and thorough pet dentistry.
Anesthesia ensures the comfort and safety our patients during a stressful procedure pets don’t understand. It lets us thoroughly examine of all the surfaces inside the mouth, probe for bone loss, and take x-rays of the teeth. It’s the only way we can scale plaque and tartar from under the edge of the gums, where it causes pain and damage to the delicate tissue around the teeth. It protects your pet from the debris, fluid and bacteria released by the cleaning procedure. It’s the only way to permit extractions or other more invasive treatments. And anesthesia lets us manage any pain we might cause.
Non-professional, anesthesia-free dental cleaning is a cosmetic procedure. It doesn’t allow a veterinarian to perform a thorough exam of your pet’s mouth. It only cleans the parts of the teeth that you can see and leaves disease below the gumline. It causes stress, pain and injury to the delicate tissues of the mouth. It can make pets reluctant to let you brush their teeth or give medications. And it gives pet owners a false sense of security about the health of their pets’ mouth and teeth.
It’s been said that the best and least expensive dentistry is when the right thing is done extremely well the first time and it lasts.
At Priority Pet Hospital, dental procedures are performed under general anesthesia. They include a thorough oral examination and probing of the gums, x-rays of the teeth to evaluate the roots, removal of plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline, and polishing of all tooth surfaces. When extractions are performed, we take follow-up x-rays to make sure the entire tooth has been removed. We suture the gums over the open socket to speed healing, increase comfort, and reduce the risk of infection. Finally, we provide proper pain control before, during and after any dental procedure.