As a general practitioner, I have heard this question so many times. “Do I really need to clean my dog’s teeth again this year?”
Reluctantly, I always give my best spiel to educate the client how pets age 7 times quicker and once a year is really not that often, in dog years, for a dog to receive an oral prophylaxsis. I can only count on one hand the number of All Creatures clients that brush their pets teeth two times a day. By promoting prevention, I work to try to minimize the inevitable extractions and toothaches pets will experience if dental care is ignored.
In my opinion, dental care his saved the lives of more pets than almost any other thing we do in veterinary medicine in the past 50 years. Promoting dental care to our clients is one of the most crucial things we do as veterinarians. It has been shown that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over the age of 3 years have some degree of periodontal disease. Moreover, small dogs and cats live 15-20% longer if they receive dental care as needed throughout their lives. And larger dogs live 10-15% longer if they receive consistent dental care!
Tooth resorption is a very common problem and is seen more commonly in cats. In fact, 50-60% of cats experience it. These painful root to crown lesions eat away at teeth and require radiographs or dental X-rays to extract and treat these teeth.
Many of our clients have fears about anesthesia for their pets when dental care is done. With modern anesthetics and the availability of pre-anesthetic blood screening and sophisticated intraoperative monitors, these fears usually are unfounded. The risk of untreated dental disease, especially periodontal disease, is far greater than the risk from anesthesia.
On many occasions after hard work convincing owners to have the dental work done, they have come back and thanked me as they can see how much happier their pet is now.
I remember one case when a client said, “I know what you’re going to say about his teeth and I can’t afford it right now.”
Eventually after several years I convinced her to have the dental procedure done and several teeth were extracted. The dog was treated with pain medication and antibiotics to get through the oral surgery. One month later she wrote me a letter thanking me and feeling guilty that she had waited so long to have her pet’s oral health taken care of. She said her older dog was acting so much younger and happier so much younger since recovering from the dentistry. She’s now committed to twice annual dental care and daily preventive care at home.
to the overwhelming response in the past we have decided to do extend Dental Month at All Creatures for the month of January and February in 2019. During this time our clients can receive a 10% discount on their pet’s dental care as well as home products at no extra fee for home care. But as far as we’re concerned every month is dental month if your pet needs their teeth cleaned or taken care of!
We call it an oral prophylaxis as it’s more than just a teeth cleaning. We are assessing the general health of every tooth in your pet’s mouth and with the use of dental X-rays we can make smart choices on which teeth can be saved or which teeth cannot be saved at this point. Please give us the opportunity to assess the oral health of your pet by scheduling a dental procedure as soon as possible!