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The number one health problem diagnosed in cats and dogs over 4 years of age is oral infection. Dental disease puts stress on your pet’s immune system and weakens the liver, kidneys and heart. Manchaca Village Veterinary Care provides an extensive dental care program including cleaning, periodontal therapy and care for damaged teeth. Our state-of-the-art digital dental x-ray system allows us to diagnose and treat otherwise hidden dental disease. Our clients have become aware of the importance of having their pets’ teeth examined and cleaned on a regular basis. Preventive dental care can add years to the life of your pet.
For MVVC's position on anesthesia with dentals, please read below.
Manchaca Village Veterinary Care conforms to the dental cleaning standards of the American Veterinary Dental College, which advocates for the use of anesthesia in dentals to achieve safety and effective, long-term oral health. We are aware of the confusion amongst pet owners stemming from the conflicting philosophies in the veterinary industry, so we wanted to take the opportunity to fully explain our position. As advocates for preventative care and long-term health, we feel strongly about our dental policies. Please see our blog from the AVDC on this matter, as well as a Q&A below.
How often should my pet have a dental cleaning?
Dogs and cats should have a veterinary dental cleaning annually starting at age two, or sooner if they have some other oral health problem identified earlier.
Why does my pet’s breath smell so bad?
Bad breath is a sign of disease, often it may mean that oral disease is present in your pet’s mouth, not that their teeth are just dirty. Bad breath is often an indication of periodontal disease which lurks beneath the gums and can eat away at bone, oral tissue and tooth structure. Severe periodontal disease can also affect other organs, such as heart, liver and kidneys, as the disease progresses.
What is the difference between a pet dental cleaning at an AVDC-compliant veterinarian, or one at an "anesthesia-free dental clinic?"
Our veterinary dental cleaning involves a complete oral examination by a veterinarian, cleaning both above and below the gum line, and dental X-rays. An "anesthesia-free" dental cleaning is a non-veterinary procedure where a pet is restrained awake, while the visible portion of some surfaces of the teeth are scaled (scraped with an instrument). This does not clean your pet’s teeth and leaves your pet at risk for a progression of the remaining oral disease and future dental disease and problems.
Is anesthesia for dental cleanings safe?
Using correct anesthetic protocols and monitoring by a dedicated trained anesthetist at a veterinary hospital, pet anesthesia is very safe.
Why are veterinary pet dental cleanings more costly than the anesthesia-free procedures at my groomer or low-cost clinic?
Put simply, when it comes to the procedure alone, you get what you pay for. A veterinarian provides a professional service that requires a great deal of training and experience with the pet’s health in mind. There are certainly more costs involved in anesthesia, equipment, x-rays and trained staff, which all amount to your pet getting a higher quality of care and ultimately maintaining a healthy mouth. Over the long term, extensive dental disease as a result of a pet not having cleanings or having anesthesia free cleanings can become far more expensive.
Do cats and dogs need the same type of cleanings?
The simple answer is yes. The key thing to remember is that both cats and dogs need regular veterinary dental care. Overall each need the same components of care, however since they have unique health care concerns and anatomy, it’s important they are in the care of a veterinary doctor who is experienced and able to identify specific disease in different species, such as feline tooth resorption, feline stomatitis, or oral cancers.