Busting Some Dental Myths
One of my favourite parts of being a veterinarian is the variety. On any given day, I will do everything from surgery to vaccinating puppies and kittens, to handling very sick walk-in emergencies. That said, there are certain things that I see and hear every day! One of those things is dental disease and the myths surrounding it.
These are the four most common dental disease myths that I hear on a daily basis.
1. My pet can still eat so their teeth must be fine.
False. Dogs and cats are incredibly resilient. They are hard-wired to survive. So it takes an incredible amount of dental infection and disease to stop them from eating. I have witnessed dogs and cats with horrendous mouths -mouths full of infection, broken teeth, bleeding gums, and even oral tumours – continue to eat like absolutely nothing is wrong.
2. My pet is old, so we just want to leave it.
Age is not a disease. I completely understand the point of concern; older animals can be an increased anesthetic risk. But think of it this way. If your 14-year- old cat develops diabetes, do you treat it? OF COURSE, YOU DO! So why do we just throw our arms up at a dental abscess and say, “Oh, there’s nothing we can do!” These pets are in pain. By taking this approach, we primarily agree that we will let our pet live in pain for the rest of its life.
3. Their teeth look clean.
That is an encouraging start, but it is nowhere near the entire picture of oral health. When we show clients the teeth that we remove from some patients, they are blown away. It is the classic iceberg effect where what you see is only the beginning. Some teeth will have twice as much root below the gum line as a crown above. If you are not assessing the gums and taking dental x-rays of the origins of the teeth, then you are not doing a dental.
4. It’s expensive.
The most expensive “dental” in Saskatoon cost the least amount of money. If you have taken your pet for an “anesthetic-free dental”, I am sorry to say that you have wasted your money. A proper dental procedure involves an entire team working on your pet. This is a surgical procedure where we will assess and treat simultaneously. At Cumberland Veterinary Clinic we strive to provide tremendous value to all of our patients. That is why we have developed wellness packages, which include dental procedures. This allows you to give the very best in dental care to your loved ones in an affordable manner. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about how we can help keep your pet healthy and happy for years to come!
Written by Dr. Michael Bugg