Dental Care Is Important.....
The importance of dental health in companion animals cannot be over-emphasized. Just like people, pets develop plaque and tartar which can lead to dental disease and infection. If left untreated, dental disease can wreak havoc on your pet’s entire body, even shortening his or her life. At Ponemah Veterinary Hospital we take the oral healthcare of our pets seriously and as such, we offer a wide range of state-of-the-art veterinary dental care services.
Our Doctors Are Well Trained.....
Dr. Jennifer Edwards has extensive dental experience and has obtained advanced dental training including study with a board certified dental specialist in Colorado. This training not only solidified her knowledge & dental techniques but she also received training in the use of more advanced techniques such as bonded sealants. She is proud of her dental skills but will happily also offer a referral if your pet's condition requires treatment by a specialist.
Dental Disease Hurts.....
Pet dental disease hurts but our beloved pets cannot tell us when they have dental pain. Over 50% of pets over the age of 5 have painful dental disease and 95% of these pets will show NO clinical signs. They will continue to eat, they won't drool, won't have swelling, won't paw at their face or say "ouch". However, once we deal with the painful condition, we frequently have pet parents report an energy and interaction they have not seen in their pet in a long time.
Thorough Evaluations Are Important.....
Pets should receive a dental examination at least once a year during their wellness visit. This can help identify obvious dental problems such as fractured teeth, tartar, or loose teeth. However, most dental disease is hidden under the gumline so we recommend that pets have a thorough dental evaluation including x-rays under anesthesia every few years depending on their oral health. At that time the teeth will be thoroughly examined, cleaned and polished. We utilize a high quality ultrasonic scaler which allows us to scale under the gumline safely and more effectively than traditional hand scaling.
Dental X-Rays Are Essential, Full Mouth Every Time.....
We utilize digital dental radiography to assess teeth for hidden problems such as abscesses, bone loss, or tooth resorption. Dental x-rays are a standard part of all of our dental assessments and cleanings because our pets cannot tell us where there problem is. Over 80% of dental disease is under the gum line and is not visible on examination. We often find painful dental disease that would have gone untreated if dental x-rays had not been done.
"As needed x-rays" are not appropriate. It is an oxymoron as there is no way to know if it is needed until after it is done.
Anesthesia is Necessary - Don't Believe the Benefits of "Anesthesia Free Dentistry".....
Providers of Anesthesia Free Dentistry (AFD) would like you to believe by removing believe by removing visible tartar from the teeth they are improving oral health.
This is Just Not the Case!
It provides no protection against periodontal disease since scraping the plaque and tartar from the outside surfaces of the teeth does not clean beneath your pet’s gumline.
AFD requires your pet to be restrained while the visible tartar is removed. This can be stressful and painful. It is not fair to put your beloved dog or cat through the process without anesthesia.
Anesthesia is needed to best evaluate periodontal disease since there are few if any visible signs of damage before it has progressed too far to save teeth.
A thorough oral health exam and x-rays cannot be done on a dog or cat that is awake.
In addition, teeth that have been scaled and not polished cause bacteria to grow and tartar to form even faster than before.
While they are lower cost initially, the ultimate costs to both your wallet, and pet’s dental health, are far more of an expense.
Anesthesia free dental cleanings provide no benefit to your pet and do not prevent periodontal disease at any level.
In fact, it gives you a false sense of security as a pet owner that because the teeth look whiter that they are healthier.
Click here for more information from the American Veterinary Dental College about the pitfalls of Anesthesia Free Dentistry and how to handle those that offer it.
We Manage Their Pain.....
Pain management is essential both during and after the procedure. We utilize a combination of methods including pre-procedure injections, numbing the affected teeth, and pain medication at home after the procedure depending on a pet's individual needs.
Home Care Is Important Too.....
In addition to our in-office quality dental care services, we also recommend at home dental care whenever possible. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff would be more than happy to work with you to provide advice and guidance on proper home dental healthcare techniques to help keep your pet’s mouth healthy in between visits. Together we will work hard to help your animal companion enjoy a lifetime of good oral health.