Dental care is an important part of your pet’s overall health and well-being. At Shawsheen Animal Hospital, we take a proactive approach to dental care and provide professional pet teeth cleaning along with a variety of other comprehensive dental services in Tewksbury, MA. Preventing any issues before they arise is less expensive than treatment and better for your pet’s health.
Does your dog or cat need their teeth cleaned? Call Shawsheen Animal Hospital to schedule your pet’s next dental appointment today!
The Importance of Pet Dental Care
Did you know 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by three years of age? At Shawsheen Animal Hospital, we strive to educate pet owners on the importance of proper dental care. Oral or dental disease can lead to more serious health problems in pets, such as tooth loss or infection of the heart, liver and kidneys. Fortunately, our team can provide comprehensive pet dental care, including physical dental exams, ultrasonic scaling and polishing, digital dental X-rays, tooth extractions, and anesthesia.
Knowing When Your Pet Needs Dental Care
Our pets need help maintaining their dental health because they cannot tell us when they are feeling any pain or discomfort. When you bring your pet to Shawsheen Animal Hospital for their dental appointment, your pet will be fully sedated for their safety. We also require pre-anesthetic blood work to ensure your pet’s good health prior to the exam. To help determine when to bring your pet in for a dental exam, look out for the following symptoms or behaviors:
Broken, loose, or missing teeth
Discoloration or tartar build up
Excessive chewing or drooling
Lack of appetite or inability to chew
Swelling and bleeding in or around the mouth
Common Pet Dental Care Questions
Once your pet’s health has been assessed by an exam and blood work, your pet will be put under a safe and pain-free form of general anesthesia. Then, a complete exam of the mouth will be done using a full-mouth x-ray, searching for pockets of bone loss, loose or broken teeth and tumors. Each tooth is cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler instrument, and we remove the bacteria and plaque under the gum line. When all the debris has been removed, then each tooth receives a polishing.
- Supragingival Cleaning – All plaque and tartar above the gum line is removed so all surfaces of each tooth are visible.
- Subgingival Cleaning – Cleaning below the gum line is the most important step in the oral health procedure. Removing plaque and tartar below the gum line is crucial to preventing dental disease from developing.
- Assessment – Our team will perform Advanced Dental Imaging to check for hidden infections or damage such as retained roots, enamel defects, root abscesses and bone loss due to infection.
- Polishing – Removing plaque and tartar causes the surface of the teeth to roughen, which makes it easier for plaque and calculus to build up. To counteract this, we will polish the teeth to help smooth the surface and reduce future plaque build up.
- Sub-Gingival Lavage – Scaling and polishing may cause debris to get caught below the gum line and cause inflammation, which increases the chance of dental disease. This is why we will flush the gum line with an antibacterial solution.
- Fluoride Treatment – We will administer a fluoride treatment which strengthens enamel, decreases tooth sensitivity, and reduces the formation of Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions.
- Treatments – We can discuss any abnormalities or issues that were detected during the examination and Advanced Dental Imaging as well as provide recommendations for treatment options.
- Prevention – By bringing your pet in for regular dental appointments and providing at home dental care, you are performing the most important step of the oral hygiene procedure.
Dental X-rays or dental radiology can provide a more thorough assessment of your pet’s dental health and help our team to create an appropriate treatment plan. We recommend full mouth dental X-rays to help discover any hidden infections or damage below the gum line, so we can administer prompt treatment during the procedure.
Your pet’s safety and comfort are our top priority at Shawsheen Animal Hospital. We use anesthesia during every dental procedure because we perform a thorough evaluation that may take a significant amount of time. If your pet is under anesthesia, our team can easily perform a proper examination of their teeth and gums. In addition, while your pet is asleep, they are relaxed and at ease, whereas if they are awake they would need to be restrained and likely feel distressed.