Because cats do not readily allow daily teeth brushing, chances are at some point in your cat’s life they will need a dental cleaning.
At each annual exam, we will look at your cat’s teeth and gums and determine if this is necessary. It is important to keep the teeth clean as tartar build up leads to build up of bacteria and infection. Once the infection reaches the tooth root, the tooth must be extracted. Cats also frequently get resorptive lesions. These are lesions that start to eat away at the enamel of the tooth and can be very painful. Teeth with resorptive lesions need to be extracted to relieve the pain.
Dental cleanings are done under anesthesia. The staff takes radiographs of all the teeth and then an ultrasonic scaler is used to gently remove the tartar. Once complete, Dr. Cacciottoli will measure the pockets surrounding the teeth and determine if there are any that require extraction based on the radiographs and physical exam. If teeth do require extraction, we will remove them at that time.
We take care to ensure your cat is pain free during the procedure and will send home additional pain medication to ensure they stay comfortable as they heal from extractions.
We require all cats have a health screening prior to anesthesia. This includes a physical exam and bloodwork. If your cat is under 10 years of age, we only require a mini-panel to look at kidney and liver function. If your cat is over 10 years of age, we require complete blood work.
How often do my cat's teeth need to be cleaned?
Some cats need a cleaning every year and some can go several years in between cleanings. It is best to evaluate the teeth at your cat’s annual exam and decide based on his or her individual needs.
Will a teeth cleaning hurt my cat?
No. Teeth cleanings are done under full anesthesia, so your cat will not feel a thing! If anything could be painful, we will also administer pain medications to ensure they stay comfortable.
What at home dental care can I do?
Brushing your cat’s teeth is about the best thing you can do to prevent tartar build up. You can purchase cat specific finger brushes and toothpaste at the pet store. You can also use a water additive called Healthy Mouth.
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