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I-20 Animal Hospital

Dentistry

Annual dental exams and cleanings are recommended to protect your pet from many health problems and help them maintain a healthy and clean mouth.

Overview

Studies show that 50% of all dogs and cats have some form of periodontal disease. That number jumps to 80% in pets that are 3 years of age or older. If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause infection, pain, and tooth loss over time. It can also lead to serious health problems like microscopic changes in the heart, liver, and kidneys. Because of this, we recommend an annual veterinary dental healthcare examination for all pets.

I-20 Animal Hospital has some of the most current dental equipment to provide accurate diagnosis of dental disease and the best dental care for our patients. Dr. Noland and the staff have developed expertise in advanced dental and oral surgery as well as the routine dental procedures. Digital x-rays are used to evaluate the health of the tooth roots and jaw bones that are not visible without x-rays. Dr. Noland is available for consultation and to perform even more extensive and advanced dental and oral procedures including restoration, periodontics, and endodontics (root canals).

Why do pets need dental care?

Many health problems start in the mouth. Plaque, tartar, periodontal disease, and infected teeth serve as a source of inflammation and infection for the rest of the body.

Dental disease is one of the most common problems that we see in dogs and cats. It can cause drooling, reluctance to eat, swelling, bad breath, redness of the gums, loose teeth and tooth discoloration.

When should I seek dental care for my pet?

Dental issues and dental-related diseases can easily be prevented by visiting our veterinarians regularly for dental examinations and cleanings. We take a comprehensive approach to dental care including dental health assessment, treatment, and prevention.

How does it work?

Teeth Exams, Cleaning and Polishing

Dog and cat dental cleanings are very similar to human dental cleanings, except that we are required to use anesthesia to properly and safely examine and clean the teeth. After the cleaning, our veterinarians perform a thorough oral exam and check for signs of disease like gum loss, root exposure, or pockets around the root.

Also similar to human dentistry, we do full mouth radiographs (x-rays) of your pet. This allows our veterinarians to be able to evaluate the roots of your pet's teeth as well as any disease or abnormalities that are located below the gum line and not visible on examination alone.

Regular professional cleaning is important to maintaining your pet's teeth. We use modern and safe high-frequency ultrasound to clean each tooth thoroughly - above and below the gum line. Dental technicians polish teeth to create a smooth, lustrous tooth surface more resistant to plaque buildup. Fluoride treatments help strengthen enamel and reduce tooth sensitivity.

Since we are unable to a complete oral exam (probing each tooth for disease) while our patient is awake, they must be under general anesthesia and monitored the same as any surgical procedure - ECG, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, respiration, and temperature. Our patients are also on IV fluids during and after dental procedures to aid in lessening risk and improving recovery. Great care is taken in providing analgesia for these dental procedures including using nerve blocks (much the same as your dentist does) to allow a more comfortable recovery.

Tooth Extractions

We make every effort to save teeth that we feel have a chance to be successfully treated. In many circumstances, however, periodontal disease is so advanced that treatment without extraction is unsuccessful. We only extract teeth that in the doctor's opinion are beyond saving.

Minor Oral Surgery

Many teeth require oral surgery to safely remove each individual root. We have extensive training and experience to perform these procedures properly. Pain medications are administered in clinic and provided for in-home aftercare.