Annual Professional Dental Cleanings Are Vital to Our Pets

why dog & cat dental cleanings are so importnat. Brown dog hugging black cat

Annual Professional Dental Cleanings Are Vital to Our Pets

While many pet owners may assume periodontal (advanced gum) disease is most common in senior pets, the reality is that it affects more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over three years of age. And in most cases, the smaller the pet, the sooner periodontal disease begins to cause problems.

Annual professional dental cleanings for dogs and cats, which are referred to as a C.O.H.A.T., are important for the health and wellbeing of our pets. The acronym COHAT stands for, Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment. It is no longer just a “dental!” There is so much more to it than just cleaning the teeth. 

What Happens During a Professional Pet Dental Cleaning?

When a COHAT is performed, the pet is placed under general anesthesia to allow for a full radiographic or Cone Beam CT diagnostic evaluation. Some abnormalities that can be seen on X-rays or Cone Beam CT include tooth root abscesses, teeth fractured below the gumline, and non-vital (dead) teeth that may be causing pain or discomfort in a pet’s mouth. 

Once that is complete the veterinarian will do a full anesthetized oral exam to check for periodontal pockets, loose teeth, oral masses, and any other abnormalities that may be difficult to see on an awake oral exam. 

After comparing the oral exam to the diagnostic images, the veterinarian will call and discuss treatment options while a Certified Veterinary Technician is ultrasonically scaling the teeth above and below the gumline. This is done simultaneously to minimize the time your pet is under anesthesia. 

Once the teeth are clean, the technician will then polish each tooth surface and dry out the mouth to ensure all debris from the cleaning is removed. Polishing will smooth the tooth surface and make it less likely for plaque to reform on the crown and below the gumline. The veterinarian will then perform any necessary treatments discussed with the pet owner to complete the COHAT. 

The Importance of Pet Dental Health

As humans, we strive to brush our teeth at least 2-3 times per day. Can you imagine if you did not brush your teeth for a whole year or longer?  We also visit our dentist every 6-12 months for a professional deep cleaning. Why would it be any different for our pet’s oral care? 

Keeping up with annual COHAT’s is a way to tackle small problems that may lead to bigger problems and additional costs down the road. Our pets are instinctively wired to hide pain and hide it well. When COHAT’s are done annually, the time they are under general anesthesia is lessened, recovery is faster, and we are more likely to keep them pain-free! Your pet deserves to live their best life in Colorado Springs, so give us a call to set up a dental cleaning for your dog or cat today: 719-536-0484. 

Photo by Tatiana Rodriguez on Unsplash (9/21/2020)