In an added effort to provide your pet with quality care, we offer pet dental services in our veterinary office. It is estimated that 80% of pets exhibit the beginning stages of periodontal disease by age 3, which is why oral exams and teeth cleanings are essential. Also, studies indicate that pets with good oral hygiene tend to live 2 to 4 years longer than pets who neglect dental care. While periodontal disease is entirely preventable, when left untreated it can lead to cardiac disease, kidney infection, liver infection, or stroke.
How do I know if my pet has dental disease?
- Here are some signs that your pet may have dental disease:
- Bad breath
- Yellow, brown, or discolored teeth
- Loose teeth
- Red, inflamed gums
- Swollen mouth, jaws, or gums
- Doesn’t play with chew toys as often
- Pain when eating
Reasons for regular oral assessments:
Avoid tooth loss due to periodontal disease
Help your pet avert unnecessary pain
Help your pet maintain healthy and functional teeth
Improve foul breath
Prevent potential damage to the brain, heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys
What does an oral assessment involve?
Pets can experience many of the same dental issues that humans do, including gingivitis, periodontal disease, necessary tooth extraction, and deep scaling. Regular oral assessments and cleanings can help you avoid the costliness of involved dental procedures and can help prevent your pet from unnecessary suffering.
Pet oral assessments are similar to human dental exams and involve teeth cleaning and buffing. Our assessments include sedation dentistry and dental X-rays. If more serious conditions are discovered, root canals, tooth extraction, etc. might be required which may require referral to a board certified dentist.
During your pet’s oral assessment, a technician will gently clean the surface of the teeth with an ultrasonic scaler that cleans using the vibration of sound waves and water. The waves push the water creating tiny scrubbing bubbles that implode on tooth surfaces and kill microbes as they separate plaque from the tooth structure. After scaling the teeth, the technician lightly buffs and polishes your pet’s teeth to complete their dental cleaning. All abnormalities with the teeth are charted and full mouth radiographs are taken. Any additional treatments such as extractions can be performed while the dog is sedated.
After the cleaning, we will provide you with a comprehensive analysis of your pet’s oral health. We will also discuss any additional treatments or referral if needed. You will receive at-home oral hygiene tips specific to your pet,.
Generally, routine oral assesments are an outpatient procedure. Patients check-in between 7:30 am and 9 am. The procedure is performed in the morning. Patients are generally ready to return home after 3:30 pm the same day.
What about the risks of anesthesia?
Though very small, anesthesia is a very real risk for dogs and cats, just as it is for humans. At Tupelo Small Animal Hospital, we take care to further reduce the risks of anesthesia by following a proactive protocol to assess our patients and monitor their care throughout the dental procedure, including pre-anesthetic testing, inhalant gas, electronic monitoring, and intravenous fluids.
We recommend to perform pre-surgical blood work for our patients prior to placing them under anesthesia. Our dental team monitors each patient throughout the dental procedure to ensure the patient is responding appropriately to the anesthesia. We use very safe anesthetics and monitor your pet for any adverse reactions as they recover.
Please remember, the adverse effects of bad teeth on overall health of the pet greatly outweigh the anesthetic risk.
We are excited to announce that we have added digital dental radiology to our practice. It is being used on all dental procedures and cleanings. In dogs and cats 2/3 of the tooth is below the surface and radiographs, which are commonly known as X-rays, are used to evaluate the area of the tooth not visible. Radiology is non-invasive, the images are instantly available, and these images can be saved for future reference.
- In a mouth that visually appears healthy radiographs will show clinically significant findings in 27% of dogs and 41% of cats. (Verstraete FJ, Kass PH, Terpak CH. Diagnostic value of full-mouth radiography in dogs. Am J Vet Res 1998:59(6):686-691, 692-695)
- Studies have shown that approximately 60% of dental disease is below the gum line
This makes imaging a vital part of all dental procedures
How long can my pet go between oral assessments?
Some dogs (usually small breeds) can require a dental up to every 6 months to a year. Some dogs can go 3 to 4 years between dental cleanings. Assessment by your veterinarian will allow you to discuss your pet’s dental health and if excessive plaque or periodontal disease requires a cleaning.
Using approved Veterinary Oral Health Council products may help the health of your pet's teeth and gums and increase the time needed between oral assessments and treatments. Visit their website, VOCH.org, to see approved products.
How to Brush Your Pets Teeth
How do I schedule an oral assessment?
Please call 662-840-0210 and one of our receptionists will assist you in scheduling an oral assessment for your pet.