Pet Dental Care

cat receiving dental cleaning

At Circle of Life Animal Hospital in Tampa, we make pet dentistry a high priority because we understand how important it is to each pet’s overall health. Did you know that the unsightly tartar on your pet’s teeth hides the real enemy? The bacteria under the tartar and gum lines in your pet’s mouth get into the bloodstream and travel through the heart, liver, and kidneys. These bacteria can reside on the valves in the heart causing valve disease and heart dysfunction. And the liver and kidneys are constantly trying to remove these bacteria from the bloodstream. Over time, this can affect the function of the liver and advance kidney disease. This is why it is so important that your pet have regular dental exams which we provide in conjunction with our annual wellness examinations. If needed, we will recommend complete dental cleanings for your pet.

​​​​Professional Anesthetized Cleanings

When your pet is in need of a professional dental, we utilize complete surgical monitoring to keep your pet safe and healthy while they are under anesthesia. We are equipped with state-of-the-art dental tools like generator-driven ultrasonic descalers, drills, and polishers (just like in human medicine) and digital dental x-rays which enable us to check for hidden dental disease (tooth root abscesses, fractured roots under the gum line, etc.) Gone are the days of hand scaling and hand polishing the teeth. Using hand tools by themselves can lead to “etching” of your pet’s enamel and actually faster return of dental tartar and disease. This is why “anesthesia-free” dentals are so harmful to your pet’s oral health. The teeth may look clean to you, but the bacteria and tartar under the gum lines are still present and causing serious health issues for your pet’s organs. This is why generator driven ultrasonic units must be used.

During a professional dental cleaning from our Tampa pet dentists, you can expect that your pet will receive the following treatments:

  • A thorough oral and dental exam while under anesthesia. While we do dental exams during our physical exams, pets do not allow us to probe the teeth thoroughly or look into the back of the throat or under the tongue.
  • Removal of tartar and plaque buildup on the surfaces of the teeth and below the gum line using the ultrasonic scaler.
  • Charting of the teeth including depth of gum pockets around the teeth, chipped or fractured enamel, loose teeth and missing teeth.
  • Digital dental x-rays, if needed, to check for hidden disease.
  • Extractions of abscessed or fractured teeth, if needed. (We always call our owners if the dental x-rays expose diseased teeth that should not stay in the mouth so we can discuss what is needed before we proceed. Diseased infected teeth eat away at the underlying bone and cause severe hidden damage. Our generator driven dental machine has low and high speed drills to carefully and professionally extract infected teeth. We also utilize local blocks in the mouth before we extract teeth so your pet wakes up pain-free and comfortable.)
  • Finally, we polish the teeth with a high speed polisher and prophy paste to smooth any irregularities of the enamel. A slick tooth surface inhibits tartar from “grabbing” hold and forming back on the tooth too quickly.
  • Your pet will be sent home with antibiotics and, if needed, oral pain medication if extractions have been performed.
  • We will recheck extractions sites, at no charge, two weeks later to make sure the gums have healed properly.

We are committed to complete dental health which also includes education about proper at home pet dental care, an essential aspect of your pet’s oral needs. We believe that dentistry is one of the most important parts of your pet’s overall physical health because dental health affects your pet’s overall physical health. We will work closely with you to create dental treatment plans in order to ensure that your pet has the best dental care to live a long and high quality life!

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