Imagine what your mouth would feel like if you never brushed your teeth or went to the dentist. For many dogs and cats, this is a painful reality. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have dental disease by the age of 3. Dental (or periodontal) disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets. Bacteria and food debris accumulate around the teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay can result in irreversible periodontal disease, tooth loss, and possibly expensive oral surgery. Periodontal disease can also affect other organs in the body: Bacteria in the mouth can get into the bloodstream and cause serious infections in the kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart. If these problems aren’t caught and treated quickly enough, they can result in death. Schedule your pet’s exam today!
Cleaning With Anesthesia
A cleaning, including dental x-rays, performed under anesthesia is considered by the American Academy of Veterinary Dentists to be the gold standard.
It is also the only appropriate approach to dental care for pets with loose, diseased, infected or painful teeth and gums.
Please check out our dental video for a behind the scenes look at the treatment your pet receives when they have a dental performed at Belmont Shore Veterinary Hospital!
Anesthesia Free Cleaning
At Belmont Shore Veterinary Hospital, we are concerned about your pet’s dental health!
While a dental cleaning under anesthesia will always remain the gold standard for veterinary dental care, an awake dental provides a budget friendly alternative for pets with mild to moderate dental disease. While many groups provide anesthesia free dental cleanings, we have handpicked the dental hygienists we work with. These professionals provide a full dental cleaning while your pet is awake—just like when you visit your dentist.
Step 1 — The Oral Exam: The hygienist starts with a complete examination of the mouth, and they chart and record any dental pathology noted. If any major abnormalities are seen, the hygienist will consult with our veterinarians to determine if an anesthetic cleaning is necessary.
Step 2 — Cleaning: Following the oral exam the hygienist will do a complete supragingival cleaning and subgingival scaling and curettage. What this means is that all surfaces of the teeth will be completely cleaned (both below and above the gum line) and all plaque and tartar will be removed.
Step 3 — Polishing: This is one of the most important steps in the cleaning process, yet many dental cleaning services frequently neglect it.
Although a thorough cleaning is important, a follow-up polish is just as important. Tartar forms when bacteria adhere to the teeth in small scratches left on the teeth from dental cleanings and normal wear of the teeth. When these small scratches are polished smooth, bacteria can’t adhere to the tooth surface and tartar buildup is delayed.
** Please be advise that in the United States and Canada, only licensed veterinarians can practice veterinary dentistry. Anyone providing dental services other than a licensed veterinarian, or a veterinary dental hygienist directly supervised by a veterinarian, is practicing veterinary medicine without a license and is subject to criminal charges. The California Veterinary Medical Board requests that any persons known to be practicing veterinary dentistry without a license be reported to the board immediately.
Digital radiographs are one of the most important diagnostic tools available to a veterinary dentist. They allow the internal anatomy of the teeth, the roots and the bone that surrounds the roots to be examined.
Only the crown (the top 40% of the tooth) is can be examined with out dental radiographs.
Digital radiographs are made using small digital sensors placed inside the patient’s mouth. Because veterinary patients need to be anesthetized for radiographs they can only be obtained during a procedure with anesthesia.
We are proud to offer digital x-rays with all of our anesthetic procedures. Dental X-rays are considered the standard of care by the American College of Veterinary Dentistry, however fewer than 30% of veterinary hospitals have the equipment or training to provide this vital diagnostic tool.