At Muskoka Animal Hospital we have invested in the most up to date veterinary dental equipment in an effort to provide quality services to you and your pets. Dr.Wurdell is a member of the American Veterinary Dental Society and attends regular continuing education in the area of veterinary dentistry. Our technicians have been specially trained and continue to update their dental training on a regular basis.

Why is dental care so important for your pet?

Periodontal disease is the number one diagnosed problem in pets – by the age of two, more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have periodontal disease in one form or another. The build-up of plaque and tartar on your pet’s teeth leads to bacterial infections that can enter the bloodstream and infect other parts of your pet’s body. Periodontal disease has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, osteoporosis and other problems.

The good news is that periodontal disease is easily prevented. Routine dental cleanings and a home dental care regimen can eliminate the plaque and tartar that lead to gum disease and oral infections. During a dental cleaning, your veterinarian also performs a complete oral examination of your pet. This includes screening for oral cancer, broken teeth and cavities. Spotting these problems early on makes them easier to treat and improves your pet’s overall oral health.

Your pet’s dental cleaning is more involved than the same process you go through at the dentist’s office. Anaesthesia is required to keep your pet still and comfortable during the procedure. Because of this, your pet undergoes a thorough physical examination before each dental cleaning. Laboratory blood tests, as well as other diagnostic procedures are also used to screen for potential problems and risks before anaesthesia is administered. Using these results, we develop a safe aesthetic protocol specifically for your pet.

During a dental cleaning, tartar is removed from your pet’s teeth with a hand scaler. Next, a periodontal probe is used to check for pockets under the gumline – where periodontal disease and bad breath start. An ultrasonic scaler is used to clean above the gumline and a curette is used to clean and smooth the teeth under the gumline and in the crevices. Finally, the teeth are polished and an anti-bacterial solution is used to help delay future tartar build-up.

Digital Dental Radiography

Our dental suite is fully equipped with a digital radiography unit similar to that in your own dentist’s office! Dental radiographs are important because they give us an image of the health of the tooth below the gum line and help us to diagnose pain and suffering that may be occurring due to bone loss, abscess or disease that we cannot see during a routine examination. After your pet’s dental visit we will share the radiographs with you during your discharge appointment – you will be amazed at what you see!

Dental care doesn’t end in your veterinarian’s office. Brushing your pet’s teeth at home is an added level of protection against gum disease. In order to be most effective, brushing must be done at least three times a week; however, daily brushing is ideal. Brushing your pet’s teeth can be supplemented with antiseptic rinses. Some pet foods and treats are also effective in preventing plaque and tartar buildup. However, there is no substitute for regular brushing and professional dental cleanings. We can help you to initiate an at home dental program to help improve the dental health of your pet!

Contact us today to schedule a dental examination and cleaning for your pet. Your best friend will thank you!