From giving them chew toys to ensuring they eat the right food, dental hygiene plays an important part in your pet’s overall health. All of us at Albert North Veterinary Clinic are committed to helping dogs and cats have bright teeth and healthy dental hygiene. Call us at 306-545-7211 to book an appointment or to learn more about our dental services. 

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Do dogs and cats need to brush their teeth?

Brushing is the most effective means of removing plaque and should be done daily. It’s best to introduce brushing to your pet gradually and as early as possible because younger pets are more tolerant. That being said, older pets can learn to accept having their teeth brushed if we gently introduce them to the process and make it enjoyable.

Can I just use pet products to improve my pet’s dental hygiene rather than bring them to the clinic for a cleaning?

Many different products and services claim to clean your pet’s teeth and prevent the need for a full dental cleaning under anesthetic. Although they might visually appear to make the teeth look healthy (and make the breath smell better), they do not take care of the problems that build up under the gum line. These products and “anesthesia-free” cleanings can mask underlying tooth decay and other dental problems. They do not reach all of the surfaces of the teeth that can be cleaned and examined when the animal is placed under an anesthetic.

What happens during a dental cleaning session?

Your pet is administered a general anesthetic beforehand. We start by removing all the tartar off the teeth with an ultrasonic scaler that cleans both the crown of the tooth and below the gums. After cleaning, we conduct a thorough exam using a dental probe to check for any pockets, root exposure, or lesions. Then, we may take X-rays to see what the roots and surrounding periodontal structures look like. They can show us fractures, lesions, root infections, and bone loss under the gums that may not be evident during the initial exam. The teeth are charted, and the veterinarian decides if any need to be removed. This is an example of what can happen during a routine dental cleaning session.

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