Anaesthetics have to be taken seriously and whilst there is no evidence that repeated anaesthetics are harmful, there is always a risk with any procedure involving anaesthesia, so we prefer prevention where possible. I see many older animals with painful infected mouths and often the owners are particularly reluctant to have them treated because of their age (see Elderly pets section). My view is that if the animal is in pain it should be treated to relieve that.
Scaling tartar from teeth and polishing the surfaces will get a mouth back to almost new as long as no extractions are needed. If there are deep infected pockets beside teeth they may need special treatment. If teeth are loose or their roots are infected they should be removed, as should teeth with significant FORLs in cats (Feline odontoclastic resorption lesions...sorry, they donít have an easier name). When teeth have been removed, the teeth they bite against will lose the natural cleaning effect of chewing and will need extra attention to keep them clean.
Move your mouse over the picture to see the teeth after scaling and polishing.
The absolute best is brushing BUT there are only a few pets which will allow their owners to train them to have this done without a fuss, and we do not want to cause owners and their pets to fall out.
SO...we offer special food (Hillís t/d) which is designed to clean teeth when chewed and can form a part (about a quarter) of a petís diet. Enzyme impregnated chews for cats and dogs are available, but do not clean the front teeth. My nurses, who are in charge of the preventive measures, are much in favour of a special gel called Logic which pets will usually allow owners to smear on their teeth, or will lick off their fur. This contains enzymes which destroy plaque which is the stuff that sets to form tartar.
My nurses have samples of these products most of which are FREE!Go to top of page