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Brushing Dog's Teeth

Dental Procedures

Why does my pet need a dental?

Veterinary staff can recommend dentals for any of the following:

  • Halitosis (smelly breath)

  • Gingitivits (inflamed gums)

  • Tartar

  • Loose teeth

  • Infection

  • Pain

  • Drooling Change in eating habits

Why is dental hygiene important for animals?

The mouth harbours a lot of bacteria. These bacteria will stick to the teeth causing a film of plaque which causes gums to become inflamed. Inflamed gums can lead to pain and allow entry of bacterial into the tissues around the teeth. If the plaque is not brushed or scaled away, this can mineralise to form tartar (the yellow/grey deposits seen over the teeth). Tartar causes the gums to recede and tooth roots to become exposed leading to further pain and deeper infections.


Can tartar be brushed away?

No. Once the tartar has developed, only a dental scale and polish will remove all the tartar on the teeth. Brushing and use of dental products at this stage will only help prevent further build up, but not remove what is already there.


My pet is still eating; do they need a dental?

Animals are very good at hiding pain and it often isn't until the late stages of dental disease that animals will show obvious signs. Many owners who have had dental treatment for their pets are often surprised at their pet's "new lease of life", showing that their pet did have mouth pain. Apart from the pain, dental disease can also cause infection of the blood and internal organs, causing problems elsewhere.


How much does a dental cost?

This is a very difficult question to answer, as mentioned before, we cannot tell you how many teeth an animal may need removing just by lifting up the animal's lip in a consultation. Only once we have removed the tartar and probed the teeth, we can tell which teeth need to come out. This is why it is difficult for us to give you an exact price. A dental can range anywhere from £250 - over £1,200.

What does a dental involve?

Animals are put under a full general anaesthetic when we are performing dental procedures. The vet will remove and scale away any tartar with an ultrasonic scaler so they can assess the state of the teeth.

The vet may then take some dental x-rays of your pet's mouth. Dental x-rays help the vet evaluate the health of the tooth roots and surrounding bone and can identify a variety of problems that are not visible when just looking at your pet's teeth. Dental x-rays can reduce anaesthetic time and are essential for safe extractions.

After cleaning the teeth and doing dental x-rays, the vet can make a decision whether any teeth need removing.

Teeth which have holes in, roots exposed or are surrounded by severe inflamed gums will need to be removed. Animal teeth are firmly anchored in the sockets and have multiple roots. Unfortunately most diseased teeth are not "wobbly", and in the case with cats, sometimes the roots are even fused with bone. This means that removing teeth is not a simple task and involves the use of a drill to cut the teeth into segments or sometimes surgical removal. A single tooth can take over an hour to remove, so can be a lengthy procedure if an animal needs several teeth extracted.


Staged Dentals Sometimes, if your pet needs to have a lot of dental work, we will split this up into two different stages. At first all the teeth will be scaled and polished, with dental x-rays being performed. Once the teeth have been assessed, the vet may decide to take some teeth out at that point and do the rest at a later date, usually 4 - 6 weeks after the intial dental. This will reduce anaesthetic time for the patient as it is safer to do two shorter anaesthetics than one long one.


Why have a dental when no teeth need to be removed?

Ideally, we would brush our dogs and cats teeth from when they are young to prevent dental disease. We know that realistically that this isn't always possible. It is more cost effective for you and less traumatic for your pet to have a couple scale and polishes throughout their life than waiting until they are older and they need one big dental to remove most of their teeth. Additional Considerations All owners will be offerered a pre-operative blood test to check the health of the liver and kidneys. All dogs and cats are able to have this blood test done on the morning of their dental.


We highly recommend a pre-operative blood test to dogs and cats over 7 years old or those who have pre-existing conditions. If the vet feels it is needed, your pet will be placed on intravenous fluids to help support your pet through the anaesthetic.


All pets over the age of 7 years old will automatically be placed on fluids throughout an anaesthetic. For additional information, or to book your pet in for a dental procedure, please all the surgery on 01934 624608.

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