Aug 24

Non – Anesthesia Teeth Cleaning for Your Pet

We all love our pets and consider them part of our family. We would do anything to take care of their health and provide them with the best options possible. One of the areas that is often overlooked is teeth cleaning or dental health for our cats and dogs. If you stay on top of their dental health you can add 3 – 5 years to their life, not to mention they will have fresh breath.

Here’s a little information about your pet’s mouth. Dogs have 42 teeth while cats have 30 teeth, and most of us have 32 teeth. Your puppy will lose their milky teeth within 4 – 6 months and the adult teeth will be in by 6 months.

You have several options to choose from when you want to take care of your pets dental needs. You can choose to take your pet to your vet and they will charge you up to $600 or more for a dental cleaning. The majority of the cost is to prepare your pet for the anesthesia as well as the cost of unnecessary x-rays. If the gums are healthy and your pet has mild to moderate tartar, then why risk putting your pet under anesthesia not to mention having useless x-rays and blood work done. In fact, when you look at vet bill you will notice the cost of the actual teeth cleaning, (Scaling), is between $80 – $110. After the procedure your pet will need to recover from the medication and not every pet will recover 100%. Some pets, especially smaller dogs, have a hard time filtering out the toxins from the anesthesia.

The other option is to chose Non-Anesthesia Teeth Cleaning for your pet. With a properly trained technician or hygienist and a cooperative pet, it could be a benefit for you and your pet. Most pets are very calm during the process. The Hygienist should collect some basic history about your pet. 1. Does your pet have any health issues? 2. Is this the first teeth cleaning for your pet, if not then when was the last teeth cleaning? 3. What brings you in today? After evaluating if your pet is a good candidate for the cleaning process your pet will be prepared for the cleaning process. First, the tech will do a oral exam looking for any issues on the gum line or in the mouth. Next, it’s time for scaling from the gum line down. After the scaling there is an oral rinse and polish. The whole procedure takes about 30 – 45 minutes, depending on the condition of the mouth as well as how cooperative your pet is. The recovery period is nonexistent.

There are many reasons why to clean your pet’s teeth. First of all, if there is any tartar in your pet’s mouth it’s actually bacteria and that’s part of the foul smell coming from your pets mouth. With bacteria in your pets mouth they become more susceptible to getting sick. Your pet’s immune system is compromised as it’s trying to ward off the bacteria, (tartar) that’s resting on the gum line. If the tartar is not removed the gums will become inflamed and gum recession will begin. Next, you will find some teeth becoming loose as the gum tissue dissolves near the tartar. Some signs if your pet has any loose teeth are, bleeding from the gum line, your pet may eat only on one side of their mouth or you may see a decrease in wanting to eat hard treats.

We are not too concerned about the teeth and how loose they may be. In fact, some small dogs have loose teeth, especially the small teeth in front (incisors). There are 12 incisors which are located between the canines, 6 on the bottom and 6 on the top. There is very little issue or reasons to have any of the loose teeth removed. In most cases, the gums will continue to detach from the tooth and the tooth will fall out. It will either be digested by the pet or you may find it somewhere.

We are, however, concerned about the condition of the gums as once recession starts and the tartar is removed the tissue will not grow back, After proper cleaning the gum tissue will become healthy and the swelling will subside. We like to see healthy pink colored gums. Some pets will have some pigment with black spotting on the gums, but the key is no inflammation, without the presence of periodontal disease. There are a few ways to protect your pets from gum disease and it’s our responsibility to take care of them.