Dental Care

Dental disease can begin as early as one year of age and often goes unnoticed, sometimes for years. Dental disease starts when plaque forms on the teeth. If not removed, it develops into dental calculus commonly known as tartar. This in turn changes the pH of the mouth allowing bacteria to survive under the gum line. The by-products of these bacteria ‘eat away’ at the gums and tooth support structures, including the ligaments and bone.

We try to raise awareness about dental health from the time your pet first visits us and on through their life. Preventing dental disease is much easier than treating it! We offer a wide variety of services from education, specialized dental diets, tooth brushing instructions and supplies, and in hospital dental treatments like full mouth dental x-rays, dental cleanings, and extractions.  If you feel your pet may need some dental work, please book a dental consult, or mention it to your vet at your annual exam.

Brushing is the best!

Pets’ teeth require care much like our own. If daily brushing is not possible, a few times a week is better than not at all.   Regular brushing should begin at approximately 6 months of age. Depending on the size of your pet, you can use an infant, child or adult soft toothbrush.  Use toothpaste formulated for pets that is safe to swallow. We carry a variety of flavours. Try to make brushing an enjoyable experience and praise your pet for letting you brush his or her teeth.

What happens when dental diseases are untreated?

If left untreated, dental disease causes:

  • Chronic pain. Most pets show few obvious signs of pain, yet suffer from chronic oral pain on a daily basis.
  • Localized infections. Dental disease can cause tooth root abscesses and inflamed, swollen gums.
  • Internal organ disease. Bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body, in particular the heart, kidneys, lungs and joints.

In Hospital Dental Cleanings and Extractions

This includes a comprehensive oral examination and assessment of each tooth.   Every animal has full mouth dental x-rays to view the crown, tooth roots and supporting structures. Seventy percent of an animals tooth is under the gum-line and not visible to the naked eye making X-rays are essential.  They help identify the health of each individual tooth, thus aiding the veterinarian in treating all affected teeth.  Teeth that are decayed are extracted, thus removing the pain and source of infection.  The remaining teeth are then thoroughly cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler and a polish applied to remove microscopic scratches and make the surface more resistant to plaque build up.

General anesthetic is required for all dental procedures. It is not possible to do a thorough and proper dental exam and treatment while the patient is awake, nor is it possible to examine all teeth surfaces, including below the gum line or take x-rays. Ultrasonic scalers cannot be used in an animal that is awake as they produce sound, vibrations and eject water, which can be uncomfortable. Any attempts of a dental cleaning by non-veterinary individuals with improper instruments will lead to scarring and pitting of the enamel, which will cause plaque and tartar development to occur more rapidly and progress to further dental disease.

What is feline tooth resorption?

FORL’s (Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions) can affect all cats. It is defined as resorption of the tooth root.  It is painful to the cat and requires surgical removal of the tooth before infection sets in, or the tooth breaks off.


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