Dental Cleaning & Polishing

Step 1 Oral Cleaning

All the teeth are cleaned by the use of hand scaling and ultra-sonic scalers.  Tartar and plaque are removed on the tooth surface and under the gum line.

Step 2 Tooth by tooth assessment

Each tooth is evaluated for motility, fractures, lesions, and cavities.

Teeth are probed and pockets measured. (A pocket is a detachment of the gum from the tooth roots)

Radiographs are taken to evaluate bone loss and tooth root damage or infection.

Extra or missing teeth are noted and recorded.

The gum tissue is examined for infection or excessive growth (hyperplasia).

All findings are charted on a dental evaluation chart.

Step 3 Treatment

Once evaluated, each tooth is treated as needed whether it be subgingival scaling, extraction, gingivectomy (removal of excess gum tissues), or referral to a dental specialist for root canal or other treatment.

Step 4 Prevention

The mouth is flushed with a bacteria killing rinse that removes debris and other infectious agents from the subgingival area, allowing the mouth to heal without the fear of infection.

The teeth are polished to smooth any grooves that may be in the teeth helping to maintain the enamel.

Step 5 At Home Care

Medications such as antibiotics and pain medications may be needed to help the teeth heal properly after a dental cleaning.

There are special dental diets and treats available from your veterinarian that are designed to help break down tartar, prolonging the time between dental exams and cleaning procedures.>

Oral rinses or additives to a pet's drinking water are available to help minimize the amount of harmful bacteria present in your pets mouth.

The best care for your pets teeth is brushing on a regular basis.

Ask your vet about special toothpaste and tooth brushes that you can use. Dogs and cats require a special kind of toothpaste.

DO NOT USE HUMAN TOOTHPASTE. Most human toothpaste is not meant to be swallowed. By brushing your pet's teeth at home you may be able to decrease the amount of periodontal disease and plaque build-up in your pet's mouth.  Therefore decreasing the frequency of the dental cleanings needed with your vet.

But my pet hates his teeth brushed!

Take small steps. Start by rubbing their muzzle on a daily basis; right over where the teeth are. Don't try and lift the lip or open their mouth, and reward them with praise or a dental treat for sitting still. When they are comfortable with that. Trying lifting their lips to see the teeth, then move on to rubbing your finger over their teeth without toothpaste and then with toothpaste Eventually you will be able to move on to a figure brush or a toothbrush. But remember to take it slow, and always reward them for each positive step.

Start when they are puppies and kittens.  Your pet will be more open to having their teeth brushed if they learn it from an early age.  And as with children, as soon as they have teeth they should be cared for.



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Our Funkstown veterinarians offer a wide variety of pet care services including spay and neutering, general exams, vaccinations, and much more. Contact Animal Health Clinic of Funkstown today to schedule an appointment at our Funkstown, Maryland veterinary office.

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