Posts Tagged ‘dentist’

Thanks to an abundance of education and dental products, many pet owners are aware of the importance of oral health care in dogs and cats. Indeed, many owners agree to pet dental cleanings, which are performed under general anesthesia and provide the highest level of dental care for a pet.

(What can you do for your pet’s dental health at home?
The answer is here.)

Traditionally, routine dental cleanings have been performed at the primary veterinarian’s office, with great success and no ill effects. However, veterinary care standards are changing, and that could affect the level of care your pet receives.

For instance, the standard of care for dentistry is now moving towards intra-oral, or full mouth, radiographs (X-rays), to more accurately determine the health of tooth roots and jaw bones. A pet’s mouth can appear clean and healthy, while at the same time exhibiting bone loss on X-ray. This becomes especially important in the case of tooth extractions.

A pet can suffer a broken jaw during a tooth extraction if the veterinarian is unaware of the shape or location of the tooth root or of bone loss leading to increased fragility of the jawbone. These risks should be expressed to the owner in advance of tooth extractions. The risk can be more accurately predicted, and perhaps minimized, through the use of dental X-rays.

Naturally, when a service is added, the overall fees increase. A dental X-ray + teeth cleaning and extractions will cost more than just a cleaning and extractions. However, the benefit of avoiding broken jaw bones is more than worth the extra cost incurred for X-rays.

In some recent experiences of pet owners across the U.S., broken jawbones that occurred during tooth extractions cost the owners $4,400 in one case; $3,000 in another case; and $10,000 in a third case. In each case, dental X-rays were not performed, and could have been useful in predicting complications.

(Need tips on brushing your pet’s teeth?
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Dr. Miele refers dental cases to a local veterinary dentist who includes full-mouth X-rays as part of his standard level of care. This allows the veterinary dentist to know ahead of time if there are underlying issues that need to be addressed. For instance, did you know that a veterinary dentist will perform root canals in order to save a pet’s teeth, rather than pulling them?

(What happens when a tooth root becomes infected?
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Veterinary dental care has become more sophisticated over the years, allowing your pet to receive the highest level of care available. And since oral health is related to overall health in pets, it is one area not to be overlooked. We trust your pet’s health to our local veterinary dental specialist, because we believe that your pet will receive a high standard of care before, during, and after its dental procedures.

Est. 1973

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Information from this article borrowed from AVMA/PLIT Professional Liabilty Newsletter, Vol. 34, No. 3

 

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