Dental health is becoming increasingly recognized as an important factor in the health of both animals and people. Dental disease has been shown to spread inflammatory molecules through the body causing damage to the heart, liver and kidneys. Severe periodontal disease is also painful but most pets will show no or only very subtle signs that they are uncomfortable. Of course, dental disease is also unpleasant for the family because it causes halitosis (bad breath) which can negatively affect your relationship with your pet.
At AMC of Garner we take the dental health of your pet very seriously. All patients receive an oral exam at every visit to check for signs of periodontal disease. If those signs are present your doctor will grade the disease on a scale of 1 to 4 and make appropriate recommendations for treatment.
Most dental procedures your pet would need can be performed in-house. All patients presenting for dental treatment receive an ultrasonic scaling and polishing, very similar to what you would receive from a dental hygienist. If advanced infection in the gums (gingivitis) is present your vet may elect to use an antibiotic during the procedure and may send you home with additional antibiotics to give orally. If extractions are needed, your vet can perform these as well using high tech dental tools to safely remove diseased dentition.
Most pets receiving extractions do wonderfully at home, have no problem continuing their current diet, and actually begin eating better following the procedure.