Dental Care at West Madison Veterinary Hospital
Proper dental care is paramount to a healthy life for any pet, as dental disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats. Dental disease is the leading cause of kidney failure in dogs and cats and can cause damage to other organs including the liver and heart. At West Madison Veterinary Hospital, we believe that keeping your pet’s teeth clean will prolong your pet’s life.
 

Unfortunately, general anesthesia is required to perform a thorough oral examination and professional cleaning. Today’s anesthetics are dramatically safer than those of a few years ago, making the dangers and pain of untreated dental problems the bigger risk to health, even with older pets. Our doctor’s will perform a thorough pre-operative physical exam, pre-anesthetic blood work to evaluate the health of our patients to be sure we select the safest anesthetic protocol and place IV catheters in our older patients for added safety. West Madison Veterinary Hospital provides state-of-the-art anesthetic monitoring during the procedure including EKG, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate and carbon dioxide concentration, which is often used in human medicine.
 

Our dental technician will use safe and modern ultrasonic equipment to thoroughly clean each tooth and then polish the tooth to provide a smooth surface to resist bacteria. We also apply fluoride to strengthen the enamel and decrease tooth sensitivity.  We will also perform subgingival scaling, root planning and curettage where indicated and dental charting to create a dental treatment plan. Our doctor’s will perform a post cleaning exam and look for tooth soundness, any signs of fracture or other disease processes and perform necessary treatment including extractions as necessary. 


Why does my pet need dental cleanings?
About 85% of dogs and cats have periodontal disease by the age of 3 years. Periodontal disease is inflammation of some or all of a tooth’s support structure. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque (bacteria) that accumulates on the tooth surface within hours of cleaning. Within days, the plaque becomes mineralized and produces calculus that yellow/brown discoloration you can see on the surface of the tooth and lead to gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). Halitosis (bad breath) is a primary sign that periodontal disease is present. If left untreated, bacteria continues to cause inflammation below the gum line affecting the periodontal ligament and the bone surrounding the tooth. Leading to bone loss and loose teeth, and if bone loss is severe enough it can lead to fracture of the jaw. Worse still, the bacteria of the mouth can affect other areas in the body, leading to infection in the heart, liver, kidney or virtually anywhere the blood stream carries them. In addition to periodontal disease, cats can have a condition known as tooth resorption. This condition affects over 50% of cats over 3 years old. Teeth affected by these lesions will erode and disappear when they are absorbed back into the cat’s body. This condition occurs at the gum line and can be quite painful. Examination by your veterinarian is the key to diagnosis and helps determine the type of treatment needed.


Prevention is the key to a happy and healthy pet
Daily removal of plaque is the key to an oral hygiene program. Gingivitis is treatable and curable with daily tooth brushing. Periodontal disease is not curable once bone loss occurs but may be controllable once treated and followed up with strict home care.   

 

 

 

 

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