Does your best friend have bad breath? Despite what many pet owners may believe, "dog breath" is not just a nuisance - it's a sign of an unhealthy mouth. Bad breath is caused by bacteria. Over time, bacteria lead to plaque and tartar buildup on your pet's teeth. The result is bad breath, reddened gums, and other common signs of dental disease. As dental disease progresses, other signs can include drooling, discomfort while chewing, and loose or missing teeth. Even if you're using treats and chews to help control tartar, these are frequently not enough to keep dental disease in check. Ask us about the best ways to control plaque and help protect your pet from dental disease.
Dental hygiene is an important part of your pet's health, because dental disease can be associated with other serious health problems such as heart disease and kidney disease. But how do you know if your pet has a healthy mouth? Let us examine your pet's teeth and gums to help determine if there are any dental issues you should know about. After a brief visual examination, we may recommend a more detailed examination (which requires sedation), a dental cleaning, or options for at-home dental care.
Even if you think your pet's teeth and gums are fine, we can offer expert advice to help you keep them that way! Dental health shouldn't be taken for granted. Fortunately, many dental problems can be managed through at-home care and by bringing your pet to us for regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings.
We want your pet to live a long, healthy life, and we understand that maintaining a healthy mouth is part of that. Your pet's health is important to us, so let us help you with this commitment. Call today to discuss your pet's dental care needs and how we can help!
The Dental Cleaning (or Dental Prophylaxis)
Unlike humans, cats and dogs require general anesthesia in order for us to clean their teeth. We understand that having a pet anesthetized is a stressful situation for almost everyone, so we do everything we can to make that process as safe as possible, including:
- Pre-anesthetic lab work. Prior to general anesthesia, it's very important to check certain blood chemistry values to assess whether a patient is healthy enough to undergo the procedure. We are able to run this lab work in-house and get results in about 20 minutes!
- Individualized anesthetic protocols. Our doctors tailor the types of anesthetic medication used in a given dental procedure to the particular patient, making his or her experience as smooth and comfortable as possible.
- Extensive monitoring during the procedure. Any patient anesthetized here has a trained staff member dedicated to monitoring their vitals during the procedure. We monitor several different parameters, including EKG, blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, and oxygen saturation.
- One-on-one attention during recovery from the procedure. A staff member will sit with your pet while he or she recovers from the anesthesia to ensure that your pet is safe and comfortable during this process.
- Personalized discharge information. All patients will receive discharge information describing the dental procedure and explaining the post-procedure care, including medication instructions if necessary.
Below is the equipment (dental instruments and vital signs monitors) we use during a typical dental procedure:
Smith Veterinary Hospital
600 Alta Vista St. Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
Monday-Friday: Clinic Hours | 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM Urgent Care | 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM Saturday: Clinic Hours | 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM Urgent Care | 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM Sunday: Urgent Care Only | 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM