Bad Teeth… Shorter Life

AT MISSION ANIMAL HOSPITAL, WE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR PET’S DENTAL HEALTH.

Want to give your pet a longer life?  How about a life with less pain, and lower chances of diabetes, liver or kidney problems, or heart disease?  It’s easier than you think– we just need to cure your pet’s periodontal disease.

At Mission Animal Hospital, we know how important your pet’s oral health is to them.  As your integrative veterinarian in San Luis Obispo, we will partner with you in maximizing your pet’s quality of life by solving dental disease.  Now.

BETWEEN 70 AND 80% OF PETS OVER THREE YEARS OLD HAVE PERIODONTAL DISEASE.    You can see this begin as tartar accumulation, or the brownish-grey gunk that accumulates on your pet’s teeth.  As the infection creeps up under your pet’s gums, the gums  become reddened and swollen.  Eventually they try to escape the infection by receding, thus exposing your pet’s tooth roots.  If untreated, the infection penetrates the bone of the tooth socket, loosening the teeth and letting bacteria roam into the bloodstream.

A LIST OF THE PROBLEMS CAUSED BY PERIODONTAL DISEASE READS LIKE A PET OWNER’S NIGHTMARE.  Let’s start with the 24 hour pain caused by sore gums and toothaches.  Once the infection gets into your pet’s bloodstream, it can cause heart problems, liver disease, and kidney failure.  The pain and chronic infection predisposes our pets to diabetes and cancer.

Here’s the bottom line– untreated dental infections can shorten your pet’s life by up to 15%– that’s a year or more!!

Want some more info on dental disease and your pet?  Here are links to some great videos provided to us by Dr. Brook Niemiec, a veterinary dental specialist in San Diego:

-Periodontal Disease:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeFMQ2npEPg&feature=player_embedded

-Abscessed Teeth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2OKdbWOrrA&feature=player_embedded

-Feline Stomatitis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyL1YMk46qM&feature=player_embedded

 FORTUNATELY, BY WORKING TOGETHER WE CAN SOLVE THIS FOR YOUR PET.  It involves a morning’s stay at Mission Animal Hospital.  We’ll begin by anesthetizing your pet, using only the very safest and most modern drugs.  We monitor every snoozing pet with a continuous EKG and pulse oximetry– the same monitoring used in human hospitals.

Next we’ll perform a thorough examination of your pet’s mouth, charting the teeth and probing the periodontal pockets.

Here’s a way for you to learn who should be taking care of your pet’s teeth.  Ask whether your pet’s dental procedure includes x-rays of their teeth.  At Mission Animal Hospital, it does.  At no extra charge.  Because only by looking beneath the gums can you and we solve your pet’s pain.   

 Next we clean and polish every tooth in your pet’s mouth using the very same ultrasound technology used by your dentist.  And here’s another way we’re different at Mission Animal Hospital– Every one of our doctors has taken advanced classes in pet dentistry.

While we hope that we do not have to extract any teeth, sometimes that is the only way to cure your pet’s pain and infection.  When we extract teeth to eliminate pain, we always use local anesthetics and follow them with oral painkillers, to ensure your pet’s comfort.  Because your pet deserves the best.

Whatever we can do to keep your pet safe and comfortable, we will.  That is our promise to you.

 

Here’s what you can expect from a dental procedure at Mission Animal Hospital….

   -You will invest $345.00 for a cat dental hygiene appointment, and $375 for dogs.

             -This includes:  A Comprehensive Examination  (regular price $54)

                            Anesthesia (regular price $110)

                            Fluid Support (regular price $48.69–$131.00)

                           Antibiotic injection—24 hrs antibiotic coverage (regular price $32.78)

                            Ear cleaning (regular price $46.20)

                            Pedicure (regular price $18.00)

                            Anal gland expression (regular price $24.00)

                                         … All at NO CHARGE.  Because that’s what friends do.   

    -Here’s the small print:  We hope that we don’t have to extract any teeth, but if we do there will be additional charges of between $21 and $120 per tooth, depending on tooth type.

   -If your pet has a particularly bad infection, we’ll ask you to invest in a few days’ worth of an antibiotic to help solve it.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?

    -If we have to extract teeth, we will ask you to invest in 3 days’ worth of pain relief for your pet.  Heck, it’s what we would want.

 

ANESTHESIA-FREE DENTALS– THE MYTH, THE REALITY

I wish it worked.  But it doesn’t.  Anesthesia-free dental cleaning may give your pet a “whiter smile”, but it’s just physically impossible to solve problems under the gum line– which is where over 75% of dental problems exist– without anesthesia.  Unfortunately the removal of visible tartar from your pet’s teeth does NOTHING to treat infection or pain.    Radiographs are not possible.  The extraction of painful or diseased teeth is not possible.   And I’m sure that your pet thoroughly enjoys being restrained while somebody pokes at their sore gums with metal instruments.   Heck, you and I don’t enjoy it even though we understand it– and your pet certainly doesn’t understand why they’re being treated like this.

We use anesthesia for our patients, because only with anesthesia can we SOLVE your pet’s oral health issues WITHOUT DISCOMFORT.   When you watch them walk out the door with their tails wagging, you’ll know you made the right decision for your pet.

DENTAL RADIOGRAPHY

It is just about impossible to practice veterinary dentistry with out dental radiographs.  They are  the most vital tool in veterinary dentistry, because they are essential in most cases to make an accurate diagnosis.  The diagnosis is the basis for understanding the prognosis and in deciding how to treat our patients.

The thing for you to remember is that 2/3 of each tooth in a pet  is under the gum  line and thus invisible without dental films.  Radiographs enable us to evaluate not only the complete tooth, but also to evaluate the bone and  tempormandibular joints for disease, arthritis, and tumors.

Studies have shown that without dental radiographs, significant pathology is missed in up to 75% of pets.  Dental radiology replaces a guess with a diagnosis and enables us to solve your pet’s oral pain.