pet dentist

Animals need dental care, too! Periodontal disease is the most common disease process in small animals.  It can be very painful and unfortunately most pet owners won’t realize the problem until there is advanced disease and the pet shows signs of discomfort such as decreased appetite and difficulty eating. The high bacterial level in an infected mouth has been linked to immunosupression as well as damage to the heart, kidney, and other organs.

Regular home care such as daily brushing is the best prevention you can provide to your pet. As with humans, tartar will still accumulate and require professional dental cleaning. Kailua Animal Clinic offers dental care from routine ultrasonic scaling and polishing to extractions. All dental work is performed under anesthesia to allow a thorough dental examination, complete dental x-rays, proper cleaning above and below the gumline, and for the comfort and safety of your pet.

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Dental Problems Can Cause Other Health Problems

Dental disease starts with plaque and tartar accumulation. As this increases, pathogenic bacteria accumulate and cause inflammation in the gingiva (gums) which become red and swollen. The pet’s mouth will begin to have a bad odor. The next stage is periodontal disease – gum recession and destruction of bone support around the tooth. This can be quite debilitating, causing general malaise, loose teeth, terrible mouth odor, and root infections often seen as facial swelling.

  • Yellow or brown crust of plaque and tartar on the teeth near the gumline.
  • Bad breath
  • Reddened and swollen gums
  • Loose teeth or tooth loss
  • Bleeding of the gums
  • Drainage of pus around the teeth
  • Difficulty eating and loss of appetite
  • General poor health and lack of energy
  • Damage to other organs such as kidney and heart

The Treatment Process

  • Some level of dental disease will be noted during examination, and a dental cleaning will be scheduled. Pre-anesthetic blood testing is recommended for all pets, and required for older pets or those with existing medical conditions.
  • On the day of your pet’s scheduled dental procedure, they will be admitted to the hospital between 7 and 8 am. Please fast your pet, no food after 8pm. Access to water is fine.
  • Your pets record will reviewed. Any needed blood testing will be performed. Your pet will receive a sedative, IV catheter and fluids, and anesthesia. Full mouth dental radiographs (x-rays) are performed on every patient so the doctors may evaluate root disease and trouble below the gumline. All teeth are cleaned above and below the gumline with an ultrasonic scaler. Any problem teeth are removed or otherwise treated. All teeth are polished, and your pet is allowed to recover from anesthesia. Most dental patients go home the same evening, generally between 4 and 6 pm. If your pet requires additional pain mediation or antibiotics, they will be sent home with your pet at discharge.