Cat Dental Care
As with people, dental care is a vital part of your cat’s overall health plan. Regular dental care can help prevent periodontal disease. Chico Hospital for Cat’s philosophy is to provide the safest and most thorough dental care available to all of our patients. As a result, all patients receive pre-dental blood work, intravenous fluids, multi-modal intra-operative monitoring, pain medicine with all extractions, laser and the least traumatic, most advanced techniques in oral surgery when needed.
Why Dental Care Is Important
By the age of three, most cats have some degree of dental disease. Dental disease is described as plaque and tartar build-up on your cat's teeth which can lead to gingivitis. Untreated gingivitis can progress to a bacterial infection that can be absorbed into the bloodstream and wreak havoc on other major organs throughout the body. Early signs of dental disease in cats include bad breath, yellow tartar buildup on the teeth, and red and swollen gums. If left untreated, dental disease can progress to signs of loose teeth, drooling, bleeding from the mouth and loss of appetite.
Routine Dental Cleaning (Prophylaxis)
Your cat's dental cleaning is far different than the same procedure you undergo each year at your dentist's office. Because anesthesia is required to keep your feline friend safe and still during the cleaning, we perform a thorough physical exam and blood tests to ensure they are healthy enough for this procedure. These tests also help us develop an individualized anesthetic protocol that is specific for your cat. All cats undergoing anesthesia receive intravenous fluids and state of the art monitoring for safety including pulse oximetry (blood oxygen levels), blood pressure, and electrocardiogram. Once anesthesia is administered, a thorough oral assessment is done using a periodontal probe to examine each tooth individually. If everything looks OK, our specially trained dental technicians then use ultrasonic equipment and hand scaling to clean each tooth thoroughly, both above and below the gum line. We then polish your pet's teeth, which creates a smooth, lustrous surface that is more resistant to plaque build-up.
Digital Dental Radiology
Just as dental X-rays are an important part of your annual care at the dentist, we firmly believe that oral radiographs play a vital role in the complete evaluation of your cat’s oral cavity. In many cases, it is impossible to see the extent of disease occurring below the gum line so that without radiographs proper treatment is virtually impossible. We are fortunate to have a high-resolution digital dental radiograph system that permits us to obtain images in a matter of seconds, thereby giving us all the information we need to treat our patients properly and keeping the time under anesthesia to a minimum.
Because oral care for our cats is not a priority for most of us, over 80% of our patients develop gum disease at some point in life.. As a result, there is often a need for us to perform oral surgery and extractions. Our veterinarians and dental technicians are all specially trained to perform these procedures in the least traumatic way, following the same procedures used by Board certified dental specialists. We routinely use local anesthetics, periodontal flaps, high-speed drills to access roots, tooth sectioning, and careful suturing to insure a rapid, uncomplicated recovery for our patients. Rest assured, if your pet requires significant dental care, we are well trained and equipped to care for them is the best possible way!
Our dental procedure includes: