Centretown Veterinary Hospital

[Centretown Veterinary Hospital]

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Dentistry: Special Considerations At Our Clinic

  1. Anitbiotics – Where possible all patients are placed on a short course of antibiotics targeting the bacteria of the mouth. These antibiotics offer two benefits. The first is to achieve elevated blood levels of the antibiotics to counter the increase in blood-borne bacteria which result from cleaning the teeth. If these aren’t fought, they can attach themselves to such vital structures as the heart and kidney, causing serious long term damage. This course of antibiotics is continued for a short period after the dentistry to be on the safe side. The second benefit is that the antibiotics help with the healing of the gums should any teeth have to be removed.
  2. Oral Disinfectant – at the start of the procedure, the mouth is rinsed with an oral disinfectant of 0.2% chlorhexidine. This is harmless to the patient but significantly reduces the number of bacteria present in the mouth prior to the procedure.
  3. Intravenous fluids – as with all patients at our clinic, our dental patients have their blood pressure supported using intravenous fluids. They are also warmed during the procedure and their body stability parameters are monitored throughout.
  4. Exploration and Assessment – initial examination of the mouth involves exploring all the visible teeth, the tooth roots and the gums. All abnormalities are charted including gum pockets and gum recession. By charting these abnormalities, the veterinarian is able to monitor the progress of dental hygiene at future visits.
  5. Supragingival scaling – All the plaque(bacteria) and tartar (bacterial calcium deposit) are removed form the teeth. It is the plaque and tartar that cause the browning of the teeth, and it is this stage which will result in a noticeable whitening of our pets’ teeth. No whitening products are used at Centretown Veterinary Hospital.
  6. Subgingival scaling – At this stage the plaque and tartar are removed from under the gum line; a place where traditional brushing, especially in pets, is difficult to get to. After it is removed the roots are planed or smoothed to prevent crevices where future bacteria can hide. Pockets exist in the lining of the gums and these are cleaned via a process known as sublingual curettage.
  7. Final survey – the teeth are then examined again to ensure that all remaining tartar has been removed.
  8. Polish – A special prophylactic paste is used to polish the teeth and smooth out any more remaining rough edges.
  9. Sulcal Irrigation – the pockets below the gum line (sulcus) are rinsed out to remove any accumulated bacteria using the 0.2% clorhexidine disinfectant.
  10. Fluoridation – Just like in humans, fluoride is applied and allowed to soak into the teeth before it is rinsed off.
  11. Homecare – All patients, when possible, go home on a antibiotics for five days to keep circulating bacteria at bay. Our technician, will also go over simple things that you can do at home to ward off further dental problems and keep your pet healthy.