Dental Care

Periodontal disease affects 60-70% of pets by the time they are 3 years old. Bacteria present in plaque will lead to inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), bad breath, painful abscessed teeth, bone and tooth loss. Periodontal disease can also lead to more serious conditions involving the heart valves and kidney disease. All of these conditions are preventable with proper dental care.

Home Care

Tooth Brushing is single most important way to prevent dental disease. Although daily brushing is best, two to three times a week is still very beneficial. Dental chews that are impregnated with chlorhexadine (CET Chews) and given to the pet daily will help keep plaque and tartar at bay but are not a substitute for brushing.
Toothpaste that has been formulated for pets is recommended. Pets don’t “spit” toothpaste out and most human toothpaste has fluoride added which can be toxic if swallowed. Pet toothpaste is also flavored to encourage your pet to accept the toothbrush. It is best to start this routine when your pet is young. The technicians would be happy to show you the proper way to brush your pets teeth so please ask at your visit.

Professional Teeth Cleaning

Despite regular teeth cleaning, your pet will still need a professional teeth cleaning here at the clinic. Don’t be persuaded by groomers and doggie day care facilities that advertise “teeth cleaning”. There is only one way to do a complete dental exam and cleaning of teeth. The patient must be under anesthesia. Here at North Creek Animal Hospital, your pet is placed under general anesthesia with an injectable anesthetic, intubated to protect the airway from water, maintained under anesthesia with isoflurane (anesthetic gas), monitored until awake, and the teeth are scaled with an ultrasonic scaler, polished and a sealant applied. Before and after pictures are taken so you are able to see the improvement in your pet’s dental health. A dental chart is used to document changes in dentition, loss of teeth, extractions of diseased teeth and periodontal pockets. These are placed in a folder for you to take home and share with the rest of the family. Every pet is different in terms of how often a professional cleaning must be done. All pets after their second birthday need a yearly cleaning, while some pets need to have the procedure every six months.