February is Pet Dental Health Month
By Rhonda Baillargeon, LVT
Have you been told that your fur baby could benefit from a professional dental cleaning? Are you wondering what that means? Here are the steps involved in a complete, professional dental cleaning.
After a complete physical examination including any diagnostic testing deemed necessary, your furry family member will be administered gas anesthesia with a protected airway and continuous monitoring of vital signs. A set of complete oral radiographs will be obtained to determine if the roots of the teeth are diseased. While the veterinarian is reviewing the images of the teeth, a veterinary technician will use an ultrasonic scaler to remove any accumulated plaque and calculus from the surface of each tooth.
When cleaning is completed, the veterinarian and the technician will examine each individual tooth, noting any areas that may require special treatment. This information is stored in the pet's medical record for future use. If indicated, treatments for any diseased teeth will be performed. These treatments can include extractions of any teeth deemed so badly diseased that they can not be salvaged, removal of any small gum masses, and antibiotic gel applied under the gumline to try to save teeth that are only mildly diseased.
Finally, each tooth is polished with a special polishing paste. This step helps to smooth any microscopic grooves left by the ultrasonic scaler. These tiny grooves are the ideal locations for bacteria to adhere and become established in the mouth again leading to future dental disease. Monitoring of vital signs is continued until the pet is fully recovered from anesthesia. When discharged to the loving pet parents, a plan is recommended for preventative dental health care which can include brushing the teeth, oral rinses or water additives, or special diets or treats.
In honor of Dental Health Month, Turner Veterinary Service is offering special pricing on dental cleanings in the month of February. Call the office at 207-225-2155 to see if your pet qualifies.