Your pet’s dental health is an extremely important part of their overall well-being. Not only is dental disease (or periodontal disease) the number one disease affecting both cats and dogs, there are also a number of other oral conditions that can negatively affect your pet’s health. At Creekside Animal Clinic in Norton, dental health is one of the first things we’ll address when you bring a new pet to see us—whether a puppy, kitten, or your new adult pet. Catching dental conditions early (or, ideally, preventing them altogether) is the best method of pet dental care.
Our Dental Cleaning Services
Throughout their lives, your pet requires regular professional dental care, just like you do. Teeth cleaning with our specially trained staff effectively fights the progression of periodontal disease. Professional dental procedures can even reverse some of the damage done. Our dental cleanings include:
- Thorough oral examination
- Digital dental X-rays to assess the health of roots below the gum line
- Dental charting
- Ultrasonic scaling of each tooth to remove the tartar
- Polishing of each tooth to slow tartar buildup
- Periodontal pocket treatment
If your pet requires extraction of damaged or broken teeth, we can perform the oral surgery at the same time as their cleaning, which saves them (and you) another visit.
Safety in Every Dental Procedure
Dental procedures require anesthesia. There is no other way to give your pet a thorough, effective teeth cleaning. Anesthesia does carry some small level of risk, but we minimize this with several precautions. These include pre-anesthetic blood work, an IV catheter supplying fluids, patient warming, and extensive monitoring. We use the same precautions for dentals as we use for every surgery.
Addressing Oral Health Early
At Creekside Animal Clinic, an oral exam is a part of every puppy’s and kitten’s first visit with us. Puppies and kittens can sometimes develop malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth, as they grow. Often, retainment of baby teeth coupled with rapid growth and eruption of adult teeth are what contribute to malocclusion. If not addressed early enough, it could lead to life-long problems.
Common issues associated with malocclusion include:
- Jaw injuries
- Periodontal disease, which causes tooth loss
- Gum and mouth injuries from tooth contact with the roof or floor of the mouth
- Uneven wear on the teeth
Treatments for Malocclusion
We can attempt to adjust your puppy’s or kitten’s teeth or jaw while they are still growing with extractions of retained baby teeth to ensure the jaw has the opportunity to form properly. However, once their jaws “set” (all their adult teeth come in), we will have to resort to one of the following treatment options. These are also useful in treating several other dental conditions.
- Vital Pulp Therapy. VPT involves a crown reduction of your pet’s tooth/teeth to the same height as the adjacent or opposite tooth/teeth. Crown reduction reveals the sensitive pulp of the tooth, which we quickly fill in with medicament and filling material. Then, we place a layer of the composite to act as a seal that prevents bacteria from reaching the previously exposed pulp.
- Extraction (surgical tooth removal). If no other options are possible, extractions of certain teeth will be necessary to create open spaces for teeth to form a normal occlusion (bite).
- Composite Repair. Composite refers to a certain type of material that is placed around the affected tooth/teeth and hardens rapidly. We shape the composite in such a way that it will slowly correct the misaligned teeth. The composite will remain for at least a few months after complete correction to prevent the affected tooth/teeth from moving back to their original positions.
Digital dental X-rays are essential a few months after these procedures, especially after VPT, to check that the teeth are healthy and that the pulp remains “alive.” Dead pulp requires surgical extraction of the tooth.
Always Working with You
Our team’s main aim is to prevent any dental problems from happening with consistent pet dental care that begins at the earliest stages of your pet’s life. If problems do develop, we will have an in-depth discussion with you about your pet’s options and decide what the best course of action is together.