Veterinary Dental Month

What is a dental? A dental, better described as a dental cleaning or ideally a dental prophylaxis, is a thorough evaluation and treatment of your pet’s oral cavity.

We begin any veterinary dental treatment with a preoperative evaluation. As we begin our blog series on Dog & Cat Dental Care, let’s take today to discuss the Preoperative Veterinary Examination – specifically as it applies to pet dental care.

Our veterinarians consult with you as we complete a comprehensive physical examination of your dog or cat. This is a nose to toes examination of your pet with specific emphasis and discussion directed towards veterinary anesthesia and veterinary dental treatment. This is when our veterinarians are much better equipped to discuss any concerns with dental infections, periodontal disease, dental resorptive lesions (something like a cavity in your tooth), and anesthesia plans. We can also discuss costs associated with tooth extractions at this veterinary visit.

Let’s paws here to point out a glaring difference between your visit to the dentist and your visit to the veterinarian. At a veterinary clinic, we cannot obtain dental x-rays or perform a comprehensive dental evaluation without anesthesia. Therefore, we do not know the exact extent of your pet’s dental disease or dental needs until we have anesthetized your pet. Once your pet is safely under anesthesia, we can obtain and evaluate dental x-rays and probe for any gingival pockets around all of your pet’s teeth. Only then will we completely know the extent of dental disease.

Now back to our veterinarian examination…
While you are in the veterinary clinic, we want to discuss any other medical or anesthetic
concerns you may have or that we may identify on our evaluation. We will also obtain a blood sample to submit as preoperative bloodwork. And if the degree of infection in your dog or cat’s mouth is severe enough, we will dispense or administer the appropriate preop dental antibiotic. This medication will calm the dental infection and inflammation. When combined with the proper veterinary dental cleaning and (if needed) dental extractions, this antibiotic will help us to clear your pet’s dental infection.

Check back for our next pet dental topics…