Dental disease is very common in pets. We are passionate about preventing dental disease and offer free nurse dental clinics, where the nurse can check your pet’s teeth and advise about dental hygiene including tooth brushing. For further information, see our fact sheet.
If the vet advises we perform a ‘dental’ on your pet, this means a professional clean and polish along with extractions of any severely diseased teeth. We have to do this under a general anaesthetic. Many owners are understandably concerned about their pet having an anaesthetic, but leaving dental disease untreated can cause your pet to be in pain. Severe gum disease is even a risk to other organs, such as the heart, as bacteria enter the bloodstream.
We believe in tackling dental disease properly, making our anaesthetics as safe as possible, ensuring your pet is comfortable and gets back to normal as soon as possible, and minimising the need for revision procedures. To this end our dental procedure is as follows:
- A pre-anaesthetic assessment. Many pets that need a dental are older, and the vet may advise a blood test or investigation of any other health problems such as heart disease, prior to the anaesthetic in order to minimize risk.
- A general anaesthetic, with monitoring of vital parameters such as blood pressure, temperature and oxygen/carbon dioxide levels. We put all cats that are having a dental procedure onto a drip to help maintain their blood pressure; in the case of dogs the vet will discuss this with you, but it is often advised.
- We examine and chart all your pet’s teeth in detail, just like your dentist would.
- We use pain relief, including local anaesthetic, if extractions are required.
- We use dental x-ray. This is standard in human dentistry and means that we can assess for disease below the gum line. We can also make sure that all of the tooth is extracted, which helps to prevent future complications. All our cat dentals have full mouth x-rays, as cats are very prone to root problems. In dogs, we make use of the x-ray on a tooth by tooth basis, as required.
- We have a modern ultrasonic dentistry machine to enable us to perform efficient and effective teeth cleaning and extractions.
- We include two post-operative check-ups for all our dental patients to ensure they are comfortable and recovering well.
- We include unlimited free nurse dental check-ups. The aim of these is to help you keep your pet’s remaining teeth as healthy as possible, to minimise the need for future dental procedures.
If the vet advises a dental, we will provide an estimate for the cost involved. We will endeavour to make this as accurate as possible, but it is not possible to know exactly how many teeth will need to be extracted until your pet is under anaesthetic. Our vets will be happy to discuss the procedure and any concerns with you.
Until recently we could only offer dental procedures at our Torquay surgery, but we can now offer a full dentistry service at our Paignton surgery as well.