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Dental Care

Proper dental care is an important part of your pet's overall health care plan. Regular dental cleanings and routine exams are about more than just eliminating "doggy breath" – plaque and tartar build-up on your pet's teeth can lead to periodontal disease and other major health problems.

 

Scottsdale Ranch Animal Hospital offers your pet complete dental care. We provide thorough dental examinations and use digital dental x-ray technology to monitor your pet's oral health. Our veterinarians and staff perform routine dental cleanings designed to keep your pet's teeth healthy. We also perform dental extractions, though exceptional dental surgical procedures may be referred to specialists.

 

We offer patients the Porphyromonas Vaccine by Pfizer, a preventive vaccine for dogs that helps control periodontal disease. Please ask our staff for more details about administering this vaccine.

 

Why Dental Care Is Important

Plaque and tartar build-up on your pet's teeth leads to gingivitis, the signs of which include bad breath and reddened gums. Left untreated, gingivitis can cause periodontal disease, a serious infection that can damage the teeth and gums and cause other health problems. Bacteria from the infection can enter your pet's blood and affect the heart, liver, kidneys and other organs.


Signs of periodontal disease include:

  • Discomfort while chewing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Inflamed or bleeding gums
  • Bad breath


Your Pet’s Dental Cleaning

Regular dental cleanings are the first step toward preventing periodontal disease. Your pet's dental cleaning is somewhat similar to the same procedure you undergo at the dentist, however, veterinary dental cleanings are more involved and anesthesia is necessary to keep your pet still during the procedure. Before the dental cleaning, your pet undergoes a physical examination and a number of routine blood tests are performed. These tests help us detect any potential complications that may result from the use of anesthesia. Using the results of these tests, we develop a safe anesthetic protocol that's unique to your pet.

 

During the dental cleaning, our technicians use a hand scaler to remove tartar and plaque from your pet's teeth. A periodontal probe is then used to check under the gumline for signs of periodontal disease. An ultrasonic scaler is used to clean your pet's teeth above the gumline, while a curette is used to clean and smooth the teeth below the gumline. Your pet's teeth are then polished, and his or her gums are washed with an anti-bacterial solution in order to prevent tartar build-up.

 

Home Care

You can continue your pet's dental care at home. We can show you how to brush your pet's teeth at home and provide recommendations for specialty foods and treats that promote good dental health. We also can provide dental antiseptic solutions that are applied at home to control infections in your pet's mouth.

 

For more information about keeping your pet's teeth healthy, please call the hospital at 480.391.3699.