Dental Month!

February is Dental Month! Since we are strong believers in the value of dental health, we are offering a $50 off dental cleaning special for all canine and feline dental procedures that take place during the month of February. Ours spots are limited, so be sure to contact us early to reserve a date for your pet’s dental cleaning.

What makes dental care so important?

Maintaining your pet’s oral hygiene is proven to increase quality of life and may even increase your pet’s lifespan. Almost all animals suffer from dental disease at some point in their life. When the mouth is unhealthy, the rest of the body is often affected as bacteria enters the bloodstream and damages vital internal organs such as the heart, kidneys, and liver. Dr. Jan Bellows, a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College, believes good dental hygiene can increase a dog’s lifespan by as much as a third.
Signs of dental disease or discomfort in pets include:

– bad breath
– red, inflamed gums
– discolored teeth
– tartar buildup
– chewing on one side of the mouth
– drooling
– dropping food while chewing
– behavior changes

What exactly does a pet dental procedure consist of at Oakland Hills Veterinary Hospital?
– We begin with an intraoral exam and assign a preliminary ‘stage’ of periodontal disease. We look for missing, fractured, worn and mobile teeth, as well as tooth resorption.

– Next, we will run preoperative bloodwork. This can be submitted at a separate appointment before your pet’s procedure or completed in our in-house laboratory on the day of their procedure, with results available within 15 minutes.

– If your pet has severe periodontal disease or pre-existing heart, liver, or kidney disease, or is immune compromised, our doctors may elect to begin antibiotics prior to your pet’s dentistry procedure.

– Before beginning the procedure, your pet will receive drugs that will provide pain relief and also help sedate them. Administration of these drugs allow us to use less inhalant anesthesia during their procedure.

– We place an IV catheter. Intravenous fluids are administered during anesthesia to stabilize blood pressure and to protect your pet’s organ function under anesthesia.

– An endotracheal tube is placed in the pet’s airway to allow them to be connected to the gas anesthesia machine. They will breathe in oxygen mixed with gas anesthesia.

– We monitor your pet’s heart rate and rhythm with an EKG, the amount of oxygen in their red blood cells with a pulse oximeter, their blood pressure, the amount of carbon dioxide they are breathing out, their breathing rate and their body temperature. Each pet is monitored by both a Licensed Veterinary Technician and a Veterinary Assistant to keep them as safe as possible during their procedure. Anesthetic depth will be adjusted as needed.

– Each pet is warmed by a circulating warm water blanket below and a warm air blanket above to aid in keeping their body temperature normal during anesthesia.

– Your pet’s mouth is rinsed with a chlorhexidine solution to decrease the bacterial load to the patient.

– Next, an ultrasonic scaler is used to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth.

– Hand instruments called curettes are used to remove plaque from under the gum tissue.

– The teeth are then polished.

– A probe is used to evaluate each tooth to find any indications of periodontal disease. A dental chart is completed for your pet, recording pocket depth of the gums and any fractures, wear, mobility and tooth resorption.

– Intraoral radiographs are performed to properly diagnose any issues not visible to the eye.

– Some patients with severe dental disease may have teeth extracted by a doctor. We utilize local anesthetic nerve blocks for patients having oral surgery.

– ‘Before & After’ photos will be taken to show the improved condition of your pet’s teeth.

– After their procedure, your pet is carefully monitored during recovery. They lie in a warm cage with comfortable blankets until they are able to go home.

– A Veterinarian or Licensed Veterinary Technician will go over all details of your pet’s procedure and send you home with a post-op guide to your pet’s recovery. Some pets will be sent home with medications.

– If your pet had oral extractions, a complimentary one week recheck is scheduled for your pet so the Veterinarian can examine their surgery sites and make sure everything is healing properly.

You can give us a call or visit our website for more information on dental care & procedures. Our clinic also offers year-round, FREE dental exams to assess the condition of your pet’s oral health. However, oral radiographs (performed under anesthesia during your pet’s dental) remain the most accurate way to diagnose dental disease. Seventy-five percent of oral radiography cases reveal disease not yet visible to the eye.