According to the American Veterinary Dental College, periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition in adult dogs and cats. It is usually undertreated, often because pet owners are not aware of the signs and also the treatment options. Periodontal disease can be explained simply as a bacterial infection of the teeth and gumline, which include both gingivitis (inflammation of gums) and periodontitis (infection of bone and soft tissue). After three years of age, most pets show at least some sign of infection, causing symptoms such as bad breath or plaque build-up on teeth.
While damage in the mouth is definitely a concern, the real trouble starts when this bacteria spreads to other vital organs. Periodontal disease has the potential to cause other types of problems if left untreated, such as heart disease. However, the risk is easily treatable with a yearly dental cleaning.
After about two years of age, we recommend that you bring your pet in for a once-yearly dental scaling. After eight years of age, we recommend a cleaning be done at least once every 8 months. The procedure requires anesthesia but only for a short amount of time. At Animal Clinic of Benson, we use safe and effective methods to anesthetize your pet for the procedure. It usually takes about 2-3 hours from drop-off to pick-up.
What to Expect
Before your appointment, we ask that you do not feed your pet before any procedure requiring anesthesia. This increases the likelihood of vomiting during the procedure.
After filling out any necessary forms, we will take your pet to prepare for the dental cleaning. The procedure itself takes about 15-30 minutes, longer if any extractions need to be done. The veterinarian will use an ultrasonic dental scaler to remove plaque buildup on teeth or in gums. Once completed, the pet usually returns to normal in a short amount of time, as the inhalant anesthetic that we use leaves the body quicker than injectable and has relatively fewer side-effects.
Within 2-3 hours, your pet will be ready for pick-up and we will call to let you know that your fur baby is done for the year!