February is dental month! To address the significance of oral health care for our companions, the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) sponsors National Dental Health Month every February. Dental care is an extremely important part of your companion’s overall health and can cause other health problems if left untreated.
It is very important to have a comprehensive physical exam for your companion every six months. At these visits, Dr. Scott will evaluate your companion’s oral health as well as other body systems (i.e.: heart, lungs, eyes, ears, etc.) Since a large amount of painful dental disease is hidden under the gums, all dogs and cats need dental cleanings with full mouth radiographs under anesthesia at least once per year. Every patient is different, however, and Dr. Scott will evaluate your companion individually.
You may have heard of an anesthesia-free or even light sedation dental cleaning; this method is not appropriate to properly clean your companion’s teeth. To be effective, a dental cleaning must be performed under general anesthesia. When you go to the dentist yourself, you understand you need to sit still and open wide for the dentist to perform a thorough oral exam and probe each tooth, as well as scrape away tartar and calculus off your teeth. However, our furry friends cannot understand this. It is impossible and uncomfortable to properly clean under the gum line, and perform dental radiographs on a companion which is awake. After an anesthesia-free dental cleaning, you may think your companion’s teeth look healthy and white. The fact, however, is there may have been missed problems due to the lack of full mouth dental radiographs being performed and a buildup of tartar under the gum line which cannot be seen. Click here for a detailed article about what to expect with a proper dental cleaning at our hospital.
If you are a member of a group which would benefit and enjoy a tour of our hospital call us at 719-481-3080 and ask to speak with Stefanie. We would love for your group to visit us and learn about what we do.