Dental care has gone to the dogs, literally! Today, just about any procedure that can be performed on a human can also be performed on a canine companion. Fortunately, that’s good news for dog owners whose dogs are dealing with a decayed tooth or even less-than-pearly whites. Here are some of the many different dental services your pup can get from your trusted veterinarian.
Just like you, your dog can get a routine dental cleaning. Of course, dogs will not just sit still to have their teeth cleaned, so anesthesia will be necessary for any canine dental work.
Once under, a routine dental cleaning will involve multiple aspects of care. The overseeing veterinarian will take x-rays of the dog’s mouth so that he or she can better evaluate the health of your dog’s teeth.
Following the x-rays, the dog’s mouth will be cleaned out using a sterile solution that is aimed at killing bacteria. Next, the teeth will be cleaned off using handheld tools and/or ultrasonic tools. Once the plaque and calculi build-ups have been removed, the dog’s teeth will be polished and then the veterinarian will rinse the mouth out for a second time.
During a routine cleaning, your veterinarian will also check each tooth for signs of disease.
Recommendations for At-Home Care
Following a routine cleaning, your veterinarian will likely also recommend ways for you to keep your dog’s mouth healthy between cleanings. This could include using specialized tooth brushes and toothpastes for dogs. During this time, your veterinarian should also show you how to properly brush and care for your dog’s teeth.
Canine Dental Care: Oral Surgeries
In addition to routine dental care, your veterinarian should also be able to provide several different oral surgery options for the dog in need, (or at the very least, be able to refer you to a trusted canine dental specialist.) Dogs may need oral surgery for a variety of reasons, such as removing damaged teeth or performing repairs (such as a fistula repair.)
Root Canals in Dogs
Root canals are becoming more common for saving a damaged tooth in a dog’s mouth. Dogs are known for chewing on hardened items such as a bone. Unfortunately, this can result in a fractured or cracked tooth. Historically, when this occurred, the tooth was simply removed. Today, a root canal can be performed to save the damaged tooth.
It should be noted that in some situations, the tooth may not be salvageable. This could include a tooth that is extremely loose, rotten or damaged to the point where the pulp of the tooth is showing. In these instances, the tooth will simply be removed.
Tooth Whitening for Dogs
Dogs too, are prone to developing yellow teeth over time. Today, some veterinarians today offer whitening services for canine companions. This service and it’s availability can vary greatly from region to region.
Pet Education: Dental Care: What to Include in a Complete Program
Vet Info: Common Types of Dental Surgery for Dogs