The Importance of Routine Pet Dental Care
At Birch Lake Animal Hospital, your pet's dental health is one of our highest priorities, because a healthy mouth is the key to a healthy body. The American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) has found that over half of all dogs and cats in the U.S. will show signs of gum disease by two years of age. In addition, AVDC Diplomate and veterinarian Jan Bellows claims that dogs with healthy mouths can live, on average, about four years longer.
Like you, we want your companion to spend as many years with you as possible. Therefore, we take pet dental care very seriously here in White Bear Lake. Our doctors and technicians utilize the most advanced tools and techniques to ensure that your pet receives the quality treatment they deserve.
Our Dentistry Services
In order to provide complete pet dental care to our patients, we offer services that help us diagnose problems, treat existing issues, and prevent future ones from developing:
- Full-mouth digital X-rays: Our dental X-ray system enables us to use the lowest radiation levels to look for hidden problems in the teeth, surrounding bone, and gum tissue. We require full-mouth X-rays for every patient undergoing dental treatment. We view the images on a large, flat screen monitor for a complete oral pathology assessment. Full-mouth images are included in the cost of every dental procedure.
- Teeth cleaning: Using an ultrasonic scaling tool, a technician will remove dental deposits (plaque and tartar) from the teeth above and below the gum line. All dental cleaning procedures are performed while the patient is under general anesthesia.
- Fluoride treatment: Fluoride is applied to the teeth following a cleaning to protect them against future plaque and tartar buildup.
- Sealants: We can also apply sealants to prevent plaque and tartar from forming below the gum line.
Recognizing Signs of Gum Disease
Gum disease is one of the most common health problems that pets experience. This inflammatory condition can wreak havoc on your pet's teeth and gums without you even knowing. However, there are certain symptoms and behaviors you can look for if you suspect a problem:
- Red, swollen, bleeding gums
- Excessive drooling
- Difficulty eating/chewing
- Bad breath
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Brown or yellow teeth
- Swelling around the muzzle
- Pawing at mouth/face
- Reluctant to play or chew on toys
Maintaining Your Pet's Teeth at Home
In addition to our professional dental services, we also offer OraVet chews and toothpaste to help owners supplement their pet's dental care at home. Brushing your pet's teeth is highly beneficial and can go a long way towards preventing plaque and tartar buildup, and the infection that could result.
For new pet owners, we advise starting your pet on brushing as early as possible. Daily brushing is recommended, along with dental treats and chews to support their overall treatment. Whether your four-legged family member is a dog or a cat, we encourage you to consult with us about their dental health. Call us today at (651) 426-2246 to get started!