Dental health and our NEW x-ray machine

Hello clients of Frenchs Forest and Forestville Vet Hospital,

The staff here would like to speak to you about a subject that is very close to all our hearts plus share some exciting news!

We are talking about dental health......We have all been to the dentist who makes sure we look after our teeth as we only get one set of permanent dentition for the duration of our lives. This is no different for our four-legged companions!

Dentistry is something that is forgotten very easily in pets as most owners do not look into their own pet's mouth. However, the reality is that dental disease is the most common condition affecting our pets, with 70% of cats and 80% of dogs in the adult stage of their lives being afflicted with it! And for some of our furry friends, they may not show the signs of dental disease, unless an x-ray is taken. In fact, it is something we have to deal with every day at the hospital.

Why is dental health important?

Dental health is a very important part of your pet's overall health, and dental problems can cause, or be caused by, other health problems. Your pet's teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year by a veterinarian to check for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet's mouth healthy.

Proper dental care will help keep your pet from developing a wide variety of dental health issues, such as periodontal disease, which is caused by the build-up of bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria form a film over the teeth called plaque. Plaque can then progress to something more serious called tartar and this can eventually cause teeth to become loosened as gums become too weak and damaged to hold teeth. Other symptoms of improper dental care include halitosis (bad breath) and difficulty chewing (due to dental pain). As mentioned before, dental issues can also lead to organ damage. Bacteria in the plaque can enter the bloodstream or be swallowed and spread to the heart, kidneys and liver. This spread of bacteria, called bacteraemia, can damage organs and make dogs quite sick.

Why is it important for my dog's teeth to be x-rayed?

Dogs simply cannot tell us when their teeth are diseased, and some dogs never show that they are in pain even though they are. Many dogs will still continue to eat and drink normally despite them having an active dental problem.

In many cases, x-rays are the only way for your veterinarian to know your dog has a serious dental issue that needs to be remedied which will relieve their discomfort. Once the problem is identified your veterinarian can treat the problem accordingly.
Cleaning a dog's teeth without x-rays often results in missed opportunities to improve your pet’s quality of life and overall health.

Common ailments picked up by x-rays include:

  • Tooth/Root fractures
  • Retained deciduous teeth (baby teeth that failed to erupt or fall out at the proper time)
  • Tooth root abscesses or infections
  • Bone and gum tumours
  • Damage to the alveolar bone and periodontal structures below the gum line and not visible to the naked eye

At Frenchs Forest Veterinary Hospital, we now have a brand new dental suite and x-ray machine! We offer free dental checks to assess the degree of dental problems that are present known as a “dental grading”. Based on the grading, we can then offer a treatment plan which can range from dentistry under a general anaesthetic, to a simpler home care plan involving frictional and chemical cleaning to keep teeth healthy.

To make a booking and check out our dental suite, call us today! We look forward to seeing you all to discuss all things dental!

The Staff of the Frenchs Forest Vet Hospital