Increasingly, chronic dental disease is being recognized as an important contributor to the development of heart disease, kidney disease, and other health problems in pets.
At West Palm Animal Clinic, we use innovative methods - including ultrasonic scaling, fluoride treatments, injectable antibacterial gels, and enamel coatings - to treat periodontal disease, save teeth, prevent more serious problems, and improve your pet's overall health. Because prophylactic cleaning is always better than disease treatment, our trained oral hygienists, along with our doctors, will clean your pet's teeth, evaluate his or her oral health and, when necessary, develop a home prevention program for your pet.
It is important for you to know that not all veterinary hospitals approach anesthesia and periodontal treatments in the same way. Advancements in veterinary medicine have allowed anesthetic procedures to be much safer than ever before. You can be confident that your pet will be provided the highest quality of care with the most compassionate approach. This includes the latest pain management protocols, advanced monitoring equipent, highly trained staff, safe anesthesia, and thermal warming discs to maintain body temperature.
We begin with a complete examination of the oral cavity, including examination of the gums, tongue and palate. With the same state-of-the-art instruments used in human dentistry, we clean, scale and polish each tooth to remove all calculus. Each tooth is cleaned extensively, including under the gum, a technique known as sublingual scaling. Once the entire mouth is cleaned, each tooth is inspected and probed by the veterinarian for any deep pockets below the gum line. Pockets are indicators of periodontal disease and bone loss around the root of the tooth. If a pocket is found, a digital dental x-ray is taken of the tooth to check for bone loss.
If minimal bone loss is noted, an antibiotic gel is placed in the pocket to prevent infection, further bone loss, and future extraction. If more than 50% of the bone surrounding the tooth root is decayed, then the tooth needs to be surgically extracted. Without extraction, the tooth may become both infected and increasingly painful to your pet. If we find that a tooth (or several teeth) needs extraction, we take great care in preventing and controlling pain. In addition to injections of two different and powerful pain medications, we also perform a local nerve block in the area surrounding the extraction site.
Your pet is constantly monitored by an attending technician during the entire procedure and when the procedure is completed, the anesthesia is turned off and oxygen is administered. Your pet continues to be monitored by our trained staff during the recovery period and is given additional pain medication later in the day, if any teeth are extracted. Our clients are often amazed how great their pet looks when they walk out to greet them. Often, there is little to no indication that they have been under general anesthesia or that they had a procedure performed. Additionally, pain medications are often sent home to maintain comfort for those pets that require extractions. At West Palm Animal Clinic, our mission is to provide the highest quality of care for our patients with the most compassionate approach. The advanced techniques we use for our periodontal therapy and surgical patients are an important part of our mission.