Welcome to Dental Month!

In honour of this special month, we’re going to talk about your pet’s mouth. Sometimes, even if their teeth look fine, there could be hidden problems that need attention.

Let us share a story from July. We had a cute furry friend with just a little bit of tartar and plaque on their teeth. When we first checked, it seemed like a minor issue that could be fixed with a good clean. But, here’s the interesting part. During our thorough dental checkup (Stage 1 Dental procedure), which includes using special tools and X-rays, we found out that our friend actually needed more than just a scale and polish – they needed some teeth taken out.

You might be thinking, “Wasn’t the dental issue obvious just by looking at the teeth?” Well, let’s play a little game together. We’ll show you some pictures, but we have to warn you that there is some blood in these images. Before the dental work, our friend’s teeth looked like the picture on the left. And the picture on the right is after the clean. Can you spot the tooth that needs to be removed?

Not so easy to tell, right? Thankfully, our special tools and X-rays made it clear. Take a look at the next picture. You’ll see a tool (a dental probe) that can slide between the roots of a tooth, indicating that there’s a bone loss around this tooth.

Also, our X-rays show something similar. You’ll notice a darker area between the roots of the tooth. This means that there’s bone loss, bones appear white on X-rays.

Both dental probing and the X-rays showed that two specific teeth had a problem. They had what’s called a grade 3 ‘furcation exposure’. It’s when the roots of a tooth are exposed, due to jaw bone loss. This can cause issues like inflammation, pain, bad breath, and infections. Sadly, at this point, the bone and attachments can’t heal, so we have to remove the teeth to help the pet feel better.

Now, you might be wondering, “How can we prevent this from happening?” and “What can we do?” Just like with us, dental issues in pets can get worse over time. But there are things we can do to slow down or prevent these problems. Regular brushing can help, just like it does for us, if your pet will let you of course. There are also dental chews and dental diets. And don’t forget about regular checkups with your vet. Catching dental issues early is important, to help prevent them from getting worse.

Lucky for you, it’s Dental Month in August and September. This is the perfect time to bring your furry friend to our clinic for a dental checkup. We look forward to seeing you and your pets soon!

A common dental question

“Do we really have to put our dog under anaesthetic for dental work? Can it not be done while they’re awake?”

At Summerhill Village Vet, we use general anaesthesia during dental procedures to ensure your pet’s comfort and well-being. When we check a pet’s mouth, our exam is limited by what we can see and what the pet is comfortable showing us. With general anesthesia, dental tools and X-rays, we can thoroughly examine your pet’s mouth even if they are nervous or sore.