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Each year Pittwater Animal Hospital tries to emphasize dental health for your animals where examination and treatment is encouraged. Read about what we can offer.

How often should I have my pet's teeth checked?

All our dogs and cats have a dental check and dental health review at vaccination every year. If your pet has signs of dental disease, your vet will often recommend a dental check 6 months after vaccination. (There can be significant deterioration of dental health in just 6 months.) Dental month gives you the opportunity to have your pet’s teeth scaled and polished under general anaesthetic at a significantly discounted price. 

How do I get a dental estimate for my pet?

Simply make a nurse appointment online or phone 9913 7979. If a dental procedure is scheduled during dental month, the scale and polish will be done at a discounted rate – this is a saving of approximately $100.  

Why does my pet need a general anaesthetic to have it's teeth cleaned?

To remove tartar from teeth, we use an ultrasonic scaler that causes tiny vibrations of the tartar, loosening it from the tooth enamel below. Even the calmest of animals find this a disturbing feeling, and will not tolerate having their teeth scaled when awake. After scaling we use a a high speed polisher to smooth the enamel to slow regrowth of tartar. It is an uncomfortable feeling that animals do not tolerate. When your pet is anaesthetised the veterinarian can get to all the surface of the enamel and thoroughly clean the teeth. Teeth cleaning improves long term health remarkably.

Why does my pet need a blood test each time it has an anaesthetic?

Blood tests can show if there are any hidden health problems in your pet. Animals having regular dental treatments at Pittwater Animal Hospital will also have a blood test each time. This is such a helpful health record to show what are normal levels for your pet and to chart changes with age. Caring for your dog or cat’s dental health has the additional benefit of closely monitoring it’s blood parameters and keeping an eye on the general health. Every 1-2 weeks a procedure will be delayed because of changes in the preanaesthetic blood test. This is picking up problems we would never have known about.

My pet had a scale and polish last year. Why is it needed again?

In humans, excellent dental health relies on twice daily tooth brushing, flossing, healthy eating and regular prophylactic cleaning at the dentist. Animals that don’t have daily brushing, will have a build up of plaque and tartar. At Pittwater Animal Hospital we monitor the build up on your pet’s teeth, and only recommend cleaning to avoid harmful dental disease. 

What happens with loose or diseased teeth?

Once teeth are loose, have infected gums or deep pockets in the roots, they are irreversibly diseased. These teeth will cause ongoing pain and start to contaminate surrounding teeth. Dogs and cats are always happier and healthier once diseased teeth have been extracted.

Will eating more bones fix diseased teeth?

Bones can be helpful in maintaining a healthy mouth. Bones are however, often fattening and cause cracks and fractures in the main chewing teeth.

If your dentist told you that you needed to have a diseased tooth extracted, would you reply, “I will just go home and eat more bones”. Our vet’s hear this comment every year.

What can I do to keep my pet's mouth as healthy as possible?

Good dental health starts with what you feed young animals and how you monitor plaque and tartar build up. Pets that tend to have gum inflammation, or have a build up of plaque or tartar, are best to be started on a dental diet. This needs to be a major component of your pet’s diet to work well.

The gold standard for good dental hygiene is daily tooth brushing, either with a soft child’s tooth brush or a finger brush. Dental chews can be helpful in improving your pet’s breath but are by no means 100% at keeping teeth clean. The dental powder Plaque Off added to food, can slow plaque formation, but more importantly, can significantly improve your pet’s breath. 

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