“Park Place Animal Hospital is a member of the American Veterinary Dental Society and is a full-service hospital that provides comprehensive medical care, surgery and dentistry for companion animals. For more information, call Park Place Animal Hospital at (706) 453-2838
Did you know that over 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age three? Did you also know that your pet’s dental health can also affect his health and quality of life? Most of us recognize that attention should be given to our pet’s mouth when halitosis occurs. If you didn’t brush your teeth every day and see a dentist regularly, your breath would smell too! Click here to see what is involved in our state of the art dental care!Click here to see what is involved in our state of the art dental care!
Periodontal disease, if left untreated, can lead to oral bone loss, tooth loss and possible tooth abscess. Additionally, the infection caused by oral disease may enter the bloodstream, potentially infecting the heart, liver and kidneys. Severe periodontal disease can be painful and is not curable once bone loss occurs, but it is manageable once treated and followed up with strict home care.
The most common symptoms of dental disease include bad breath, a change in eating or chewing habits, pawing at the face and mouth, and depression. Unfortunately, some animals show no significant signs of oral pain – they just live with it.
“Not all dental problems are caused by poor oral hygiene, however” explains Dr. Lorelei Prichard. “Although smaller dogs seem to have a greater incidence of periodontal disease, your larger breeds are more prone to chewing bones and other hard surfaces resulting in broken or fractured teeth. Sometimes we can save the tooth by performing a root canal, but most clients choose extraction as the end result.”
What occurs during a routine dental procedure? Treatment for most pets begins with a complete oral examination to identify diseased teeth and probing of the individual teeth for pockets. At this time, dental x-rays may be taken to verify the health of the tooth below the gum. A presurgical rinse is used to decrease the number of bacteria in the mouth in preparation for cleaning. Next, the plaque and tartar is scaled from the teeth above and below the gum line. The teeth are then polished to smooth out defects and remove any plaque that was overlooked. The mouth is irrigated once again to wash out diseased tissue and plaque and then re-examined. Finally, a sealant is applied. This is all performed under general anesthesia so that the pet feels no pain.
Park Place Animal Hospital is one of the few veterinary facilities that have the technology to actually see the pathology occurring below your pet’s gums. “We purchased our dental x-ray machine in February of 2008 and went digital in July of 2009,” states Katy Meeks, veterinary assistant and pet dental hygienist, “Currently, there are no certified veterinary dentists in Georgia, and there are few that can perform advanced procedures such as crown restorations and root canals. We are fortunate to have Dr. Prichard to provide these services to our clients.”
Each regular visit to the veterinarian should include a complete oral health check up to determine if an animal has tartar build up or periodontitis and what the appropriate course of treatment should be. Veterinarians can help pet owners begin a pet dental care routine at home and encourage them to continue regular veterinary check ups to monitor their pets' oral health. Park Place Animal Hospital encourages you to “flip the lip” and see if your pet needs to see the veterinarian.