Dental Care and Oral Surgery

Your Pets Message to You About Dental Health

If our pets could tell us about their most pressing health concern, they’d open wide and give us a mouthful! Dental health is now recognized as a major contributor to our pets’ health and quality of life. In fact, approximately 85% of all dogs and cats have some degree of dental disease such as gingivitis (gum inflammation) and/or periodontitis (gum and jawbone inflammation and destruction). If tooth and/or gum disease are left untreated, your pet could experience damage to vital organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys. Additionally, anyone who has experienced oral pain due to some form of dental disease or a broken tooth can tell you - the world just isn’t right until that intense pain or sensitivity is relieved. The dental health professionals at MNVH are passionate about preventing, diagnosing, and treating your pet’s dental issues.

An Ounce of Prevention...

Home dental care is essential and includes regular tooth brushing with specially designed toothbrushes and toothpastes for cats and dogs. Our veterinary team can provide recommendations for specific products as well as advice and techniques for encouraging your pet to accept regular tooth brushing.

Sometimes, regular brushing at home still doesn’t address some areas of your pet’s mouth so plaque and calculus (tartar) may accumulate. At that point, professional dental care may be required to help support your pet’s overall health and well-being.

Comprehensive Dental Cleaning with Your Pet’s Comfort in Mind

Giving your pet a thorough, high-quality professional dental evaluation and cleaning is the goal at MNVH when dental care is indicated. Professional dental care for your pet does require general anesthesia, and all of our dental care patients are cared for just as we care for our surgical patients. Pre-anesthetic blood work is completed to make sure there are no underlying problems that might be a concern for anesthesia, and a dedicated team member monitors the patient for the entire procedure and through recovery.

As part of our dental care, we conduct a thorough oral exam, perform detailed dental charting, and obtain dental X-Rays. All teeth are thoroughly cleaned and polished. Additional care or specialized procedures are then completed, including nerve blocks as indicated, evaluation of fractured teeth, tooth extractions, and any other required surgical care.

The “Inside Story” of Dental Radiography (X-Rays)

A basic oral exam during your pet’s annual wellness visit is an important starting point in understanding your pet’s oral health, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Because 60% of each tooth is actually below the gum line, dental radiographs (X-rays) of each tooth are needed to evaluate the entire tooth, including the roots and surrounding jawbone. Dental radiographs are the standard of care in veterinary dentistry, and our modern digital equipment allows us to provide a thorough evaluation of the teeth, roots, and jawbone. We routinely perform full-mouth dental radiographs on all of our dental and oral surgery patients.

Relieving Chronic, Oral Pain with Oral Surgery

Teeth that are broken, infected, abscessed, and/or resorbing (deteriorating) are common, painful problems in dogs and cats. Left untreated, these problems can lead to more serious disease, bone loss, and even jaw fractures. Careful evaluation of the teeth, combined with high quality dental X-Rays, allows us to accurately diagnose these problems and provide appropriate surgical care.

To schedule an appointment regarding dental health or any other concern you may have for your pet, call Mt. Nittany Veterinary Hospital (MNVH) at 814-237-4272.