Did you know? Dental disease is one of the most common problems identified during routine veterinary visits. By age three, most pets have some degree of periodontal disease. Bad breath is one sign that there’s a problem, but most pets think “bad breath” is normal to a degree. In reality, bad breath is caused by bacteria living in the periodontal tissues, in plaque and calculus. As the infection escalates, periodontal disease leads to tooth loss, oral pain, and bacterial infection spread to vital organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys.

Home dental care is one way to help keep your pet’s mouth healthy, and can be started at a young age. We can help recommend the best at-home dental products for your pet.

When home dental care is not enough, we’ll recommend a professional dental cleaning. Since the majority of dental problems are under the gum line, general anesthesia is required to do a thorough dental cleaning and assessment of each tooth. At Antigo Veterinary Clinic, we treat pet dentistry very seriously – as we would any other anesthetic procedure for your pet – and we don’t cut corners with safety measures such as pre-anesthetic lab tests, IV fluids during anesthesia, anesthesia monitoring, and dental x-rays. These components of dental care may be considered “optional” or “additional services” at some veterinary practices, but in reality are very important for safe and effective treatment of your pet’s mouth. Dental radiographs are extremely important because 50% of most teeth are under the gum line, where we can’t see what’s going on! Without dental x-rays, important tooth problems can be missed, leading to the need for additional dental care for your pet due to undiagnosed problems.

Should your pet need a professional dentistry, we’ll walk you through all the steps and discuss what treatments may be needed. When dental radiographs, cleaning and dental charting are completed, your veterinary team at Antigo Veterinary Clinic will call you to inform you of any additional treatment needed, such as extractions, periodontal treatment, or oral surgery, and obtain your consent.

Keeping your pet’s mouth healthy can extend his or her life by two to three years, so it’s best to be proactive about your pet’s mouth.