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Dental Care & Oral Health

Providing good dental care is one of the most effective ways to improve the long term health of your pet.  The build up of plaque and tartar lead to periodontal disease and infected teeth, which serves as a source of inflammation and infection for the rest of the body.  This inflammation and infection can be damaging to the heart and kidneys. 

Teeth problems are often overlooked because most people do not lift their pet's lips to check the teeth and gums.  While most pets do not form cavities the way humans do, they can develop significant tartar and periodontal disease.   Plaque is a thick substance consisting of saliva, bacteria and food particles.  It forms within 6 to 8 hours of brushing.  Plaque is then mineralized into tartar within 48 hours of forming.  Unfortunately, most pets do not have their teeth brushed, and subsequently build up significant amounts of tartar. 

In order for your pet to maintain a healthy mouth, a combination of good home care, professional cleaning and oral exam under general anesthesia are needed. 

Home care consists of:
     Feeding a hard kibble-type food (the largest kibble your pet will eat is best)
       Hill's Prescription T/D has been clinically proven to reduce tartar build up.
    Providing appropriate chew toys
    Daily brushing of teeth
       This is the best way you can reduce tartar build up.
       By frequently looking at your pet's teeth you will detect tartar build up sooner. 

Useful links  How to take care of your dog's teeth
                            How to brush your dog's teeth  


Professional care: The following items can be properly completed only under general anesthesia. 

Teeth cleaning and polishing-includes cleaning all the visible surfaces as well as cleaning the areas below the gum line.

Complete oral exam-checking all teeth, gum tissue, tongue, as well as probing around all teeth to check periodontal pocket depth.

Fluoride application   

Dental radiographs  

Our current charges for complete oral exam and cleaning for dogs is $316.80 and for cats is $280.30.

The charges are itemized as follows:
Daytime Hospitalization                                                            $16.10
Pre-anesthetic sedative/analgesic/induction                          $28.50
IV catheter and fluids with surgery                                            $46.00
Anesthesia (iso or sevo gas)                                                    $62.00
Teeth Scaling & Polishing-Can                                                 $86.00
       (Cats are $49.50)
Periodontal and oral exam                                                       $13.70
Dental Intraoral radiographs-full mouth                                   $62.00
Biohazard Fee                                                                           $  2.50

All procedures include an IV catheter and fluids during anesthesia, anesthesia monitoring by a licensed veterinary technician, as well as electronic monitoring. (ECG, blood pressure, temperature, and respiratory) The teeth surfaces are cleaned above and below the gum line, followed by a full oral exam by the veterinarian including charting of all teeth.  After all other procedures are completed the teeth are polished and fluoride is applied.

All pets receive full mouth radiographs.  The majority of the tooth structure is below the gumline and therefore unable to be seen during the oral exam.  Full mouth radiographs allow for a much more complete oral exam and allows for the discovery of painful and/or infected teeth that would otherwise go unnoticed.  Our goal is to continually improve the health and quality of life of our patients.  When performing dental procedures, it is vitally important to know what is going on with the roots, as well as the crowns of the teeth.  Radiographs can also help identify retained teeth, broken retained roots, dentigerous cysts, as well as other abnormalities.

Additional procedures that may be performed on your pet following the oral exam include:  tooth extraction, and deep root planing.  These are done on a case by case basis and are determined based on the oral exam. We will inform you of any additional costs associated with these procedures if they are necessary.  

Although not required, pre-anesthetic blood testing is recommended and vary from $66-150 for testing prior to the day of the dental.  This allows for more thorough testing for the same cost as our in house panel that can be performed the day of the procedure.  

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