By the age of 3 around 70% of cats and 80% of dogs will have some form of dental issue. This could be tooth problems, gum disease and other dental problems. Most of the problems stem from a build-up of plaque on the teeth which turns to tartar if not removed. This can lead to the destruction of bone and tissue due to the bacteria which can lead to heart, liver and kidney problems. Dental diseases also cause your pet pain and can shorten their life as well as result in poor quality of life.

Should your pet have dental disease, a vet will do an examination and potentially do a professional dental clean. Your pet will be anaesthetised and a full dental examination will be carried out. This allows the vet to check for gingivitis, tartar and other problems. The tartar will be removed using an ultrasonic scaler. The teeth are then polished using a dental polisher and special paste. Where necessary, teeth may need to be pulled. The hole will be stitched closed with dissolvable stitches.

Your pet may be given an anti-inflammatory and an antibiotic injection during the procedure. You pet is usually able to go home the same day after dental surgery. Your vet will usually discuss a plan to reduce tartar build-up in the future. Make a booking for 6 months after the procedure for a full check-up and assessment of your aftercare in keeping the teeth clean to prevent future dental disease.

The vet will then use an ultrasonic scaler to remove all the tartar that shows above the gumline. The teeth will also be polished using a special paste.  If there are no further issues, that will be the end of the dental procedure. If teeth cannot be saved due to decay or damage, they may be extracted as well. Gum surgery may be required to close holes from extractions. Your pet will receive anti-inflammatory and antibiotic injections. Your pet will spend a little time in recovery and can usually go home on the same day.

Your vet will help you implement a concise dental plan to ensure your pet does not have the same issues in future. Some recommendations may include daily brushing with pet safe toothpaste, feeding raw bones, making use of dental toys or even a special diet to prevent future tartar build-up.  Your pet should then have another check-up with the vet 6 months after the clean to check on recovery and make sure the problem is not reoccurring.