Scale and polish
A scale and polish plays a vital role in our COHAT ethos. Our veterinary team give your pet's mouth a deep clean, descaling tartar build up from the teeth surfaces and make an assessment of their dental and oral health.
Dental extractions play a key role in our COHAT ethos if they should be required. Our veterinary surgeons remove your pet's problem teeth under a general anaesthetic and stitch the gum from which the teeth are removed.
Can my pet continue to eat their food as normal if they have teeth extracted?
Yes! However, this is only AFTER the initial post-dental procedure period (max duration 2 weeks) in which food is softened to enable the stitches to remain in place and the gums to heal. After this period your pet can return to their previous diet. Even if this diet consisted of purely dry kibble. This is because their palette will harden and adjust quite comfortably with having no long term effects on your pet's ability to eat their food.
Remember, your pet is a domesticated animal that no longer has to actively hunt for their daily meal. Indeed, we've had patients that have had to have the majority of their teeth removed and these animals have continued on to live their lives very comfortably.
Will my pet be in pain during and after their dental extractions?
No. We perform all our dental extractions as part of our COHAT ethos under general anaesthetic. This means your pet is not conscious of any pain throughout the procedure. They are sent home with a course of painkilling medication(s) to ensure they remain comfortable throughout the post dental extraction period.
Will there be follow up care for my pet after having dental extractions?
Yes. We provide a free post-dental procedure check up two weeks after their procedure to check in on your pet's progress and answer any questions you may have.
I've been told dental extractions are based on a case by case basis. Why is this?
For a number of reasons. One patient may have one very obvious broken tooth. Some young cats and dogs may only need their retained baby milk teeth removed. Other animals can have serious issues below the gumline that require extractions - these issues can only be highlighted after x-rays.
So how do you establish my pet needs extractions?
Beyond the obvious extraction case - such as the broken tooth causing discomfort - we can only confirm the number of required extractions and costs after the initial dental assessment. This involves charting the teeth with a visual and physical evaluation which includes dental probing and x-rays. As a large percentage of the tooth resides below the gumline (just like an iceberg), x-rays are used to create radiographs to assess the viability of the tooth and to help us establish what the tooth is like below the gumline.
What happens next?
Once an assessment is made, we formulate a plan and call you during the dental procedure. Your pet may only need one dental procedure scheduled for all the required teeth to be removed. However, your pet's extraction journey may require a staged approach and subsequent dental procedures. We will highlight all of this to you during the phone call. The final decision is yours to make and we will answer any questions you may have throughout the process.
We offer digital dental x-rays of your pet's teeth. This is the gold standard in general practice of assessing your pet's oral health. The x-ray creates radiographs - these radiographic images enable our veterinary team to assess the health of the teeth above and below the gumline.
We use x-rays to image abscesses, decay, fractures etc.
X-rays also play a vital role in correctly mapping your pet's mouth.
Just like their human counterparts our pet's diet plays a role in the status of their oral health.
A group of researchers (Buckley et al. 2011) looked into the role diet plays on dog and cats oral health. They carried out a survey on over 17,000 dogs and over 6,000 cats
The data they collected indicated the following about how the type of diet you feed your pets could increase their chances of developing oral health problems;
Dry diet - 22%
Dry and wet food - 30%
Home-prepared diet - 41%
A dry diet is a simple change to your pet's daily dietary routine that can help reduce the incidence of dental issues.
We offer a range of prescription dental pet food and dry food with dental technology in our branches. Chat to a member of our team if you wish to find out more. If you want to feed your pet a food with dental benefits, we recommend you pursue a high quality dry food formulation.
Toothbrushing at home
Yes! Brushing your pet's teeth is a "thing". In fact it's a very useful routine to implement for a whole host of reasons.
- Reduces the risk of you pet being head shy
- Prevents plaque buildup
- Makes oral checks when visiting the vet a lot more pleasant
When to start?
Start as soon as possible but don't rush into it. It is best to build up the process so your pet can get used to the idea of a quick daily toothbrushing session.
A toothbrush should only be introduced when a puppy and kitten have all their permanent teeth.
Be patient - this is a step by step process, but it will pay off.
Decide if you will use toothpaste in your routine. A routine that includes it is more effective at gaining results but the act of physically brushing alone does have some level of action against plaque build up.
DO NOT use foaming or fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride can cause toxicity with excessive ingestion.
- Gently pull the upper and lower lips back to check there are no painful areas before you begin.
- Place a finger or cotton bud on the outside of the mouth and then under the lips to allow your pet to get used to their mouth being handled.
- Introduce toothpaste into the regime once your pet is used to their mouth being handled. Increase the amount of time you spend each day massaging the toothpaste around the teeth and gums. Always start at the back of the mouth and work towards the front.
- After approximately 10 days you may introduce a pet tootbrush.
- Apply the toothpaste to the toothbrush and gently press it into the bristles.
- Again, gently brush from the back of the mouth first and work towards the front.
- Initially aim to brush the sides of the teeth that you can see when their teeth are closed. Work up to brushing the tops and sides of the teeth that are against their tongue.
- There may be some bleeding from the gums when you introduce the toothbrush initially. It is not painful and usually indicates gingivitis (inflammed gums). This should settle down and stop after five days of conseceutive brushing.
- Bleeding that lasts longer than this requires a veterinary dental check up.
Pet Dental Water Additive
The easiest way to support your pet's dental health and hygiene is the use of a water additive. We stock a water additive that helps to reduce plaque and tartar formation and freshen breath. It is tasteless and odourless so very useful for picky eaters. It is also very useful if your pet is head and mouth shy. Simply add one capful (5ml) to 1L of water and use daily for best results.