You probably don't think about your cat's teeth until you smell bad breath, see drooling, or notice your cat eating with one side of his mouth.
Did you know that 50% of cats show signs of oral disease by just 3 years of age? If left untreated, dental disease can lead to unnecessary discomfort and pain, tooth loss, or damage to other body organs such as the liver and kidneys. The good news is that gum disease can be prevented with routine exams, complete oral health care assessment and treatment and at-home care.
At Brick City Cat Hospital, we place a strong emphasis on your cat’s oral health. One of the uses of the Appointment Questionnaire form is to detect trends that may indicate a problem. At every physical exam, we examine your cat’s mouth and teeth. If we detect any problems, such as tartar buildup, gingivitis, periodontal disease, tooth root abscess, tooth resorption lesions or stomatitis, we recommend preoperative labs work and evaluate risk for anesthesia. If your cats lab work and exam findings are fine for risk of anesthesia, we will schedule an appointment for A “Complete Oral Health Assessment and Treatment” abbreviated COHAT or dental with anesthesia appointment. We schedule their COHAT procedures within 30 days of completed preoperative labwork.
Our “COHAT” includes general anesthesia and monitoring, iv fluids, cleaning of the teeth by a ultrasonic-scaling above and below the gum line, and a thorough visual inspection of all the teeth and the oral cavity. We perform palpation and sub gingival probing around each tooth, and take full mouth digital dental radiographs to fully evaluate the underlying root of each tooth and the health of the bone surrounding those roots.
These digital radiographs are indispensable when it comes to making decisions about your cat’s dental health care and treatment. Once we have made our assessment, we will plan our treatment.
At Brick City Cat hospital, we offer dental extractions and crown amputation for tooth resorption lesion. If there is a vital tooth that has a fractured crown and the owner wants to save the tooth, we offer referral to the Pet dentist in the Tampa are or UF Vet School for advance endodontic and root canal therapy, or we extract the tooth at Brick City Cat hospital. After any oral surgery, we suture the site and then apply cold laser to decrease pain and inflammation. At the end of each dental, we apply oravet barrier sealant to prevent bacteria for adhering to the tooth for at least 2 weeks. The sutures will dissolve over the next 14 days and do not need to be removed. If there is any oral surgery, we will reassess our patient in 10-14 days at a non fee post dental appointment.
“But how will my pet eat without teeth?”
This by far is the first and most common question we get when any extractions are recommended!
If any teeth need to be extracted or need a crown amputation, it is because they have either advanced periodontal disease, tooth resorption, fracture crown or stomatitis, and are causing pain. Once your pet is awake and recovered, and over any post-operative pain — most of which we prevent with good systemic pain medications and local nerve blocks — they usually eat better because their teeth aren’t causing PAIN any more!!
At-Home Dental Care
Caring for your cat’s teeth from home can lower or even eliminate the risk of gum disease while also preventing tooth loss. It can also help freshen the breath and even prolong your cat’s life. Although home dental care is easiest if you start when your cat is a kitten, an oral hygiene regimen can be started at any age. We’ll be happy to perform a demonstration of effective brushing at your next visit or you can watch this 4 week program from Cornell University on how to train your cat to let you brush their teeth.
Another important part of at-home dental care is choosing the right products. Please do not start any oral home care until 2 weeks after your cats dental and once we have reassessed that all oral surgery is completely healed. We recommend oravet at home every week. If you cat allows, we recommend brushing your cats, with C.E.T.® toothbrushes or finger cots and toothpastes. We also carry Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d Feline®, which is specially formulated for feline dental health. For other verified products, we follow the Veterinary oral health care council recommendations.