dentals please | Boulder veterinarian

Sep 8, 2020

dentals please | Boulder veterinarian |

Some thoughts about dental work for your dog or cat:

If you’ve ever had gingivitis, you know it’s a little uncomfortable.  It’s that sting when brushing followed by a dull ache…maybe a little blood.  That’s about the time to go to the dentist and get those teeth cleaned up, especially under the gums where you can’t see or reach the tartar buildup.  And it probably would have been better to go in 6 months beforehand.

At that point, if you decide not to see a dentist, things can slowly start to go off the rails.  Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold, cavities, infection, and an ache that’s something more than dull.  Chronic pain, bordering on serious infection.  I’m sure most people know someone who’s had a bad tooth infection.  I’ve seen two relatives get really bad ones – fever, draining abscess in gums, facial swelling, black eyes, serious infection, and very painful.  And I’ve seen this lots in dogs and cats.

Up to my mid 20’s I thought providing dental work for dogs and cats was a bit much.  The recommendation seemed a little ridiculous unless there was clearly a broken tooth.  Then I broke my own tooth, watched my wife have an experience like the one mentioned in the paragraph above, and throughout vet school saw a great number of serious dental cases and the consequences.  After witnessing those experiences, it was a lot easier to put myself in the shoes of any person or animal suffering from dental disease.  It can make you pretty miserable.

A lot of clients will say “he’s eating just fine.”  My response is a gentle version of saying “does he have any other choice?”  I don’t usually put it this frankly, but maybe I should to drive it home.  I think some people feel a little shade of being scammed upon our recommendation of a pet dental.  Our heads (including the 20-year-old version of myself) are saying “Does he really need his teeth done?  Is there a little a little money-driven motive here? Afterall, he’s eating just fine.”  Again, jump in the animal’s shoes (or paws).  They can’t talk, but they’re your best friend and their mouth sucks.  Think about never brushing your teeth and never going to the dentist.  Not a good combo.

So be a best friend back and get those teeth cleaned up.  Also, if you go and have routine cleanings (every year or two…some advocate for every six months) there will be less major repair work.  Visits can be limited to x-rays and cleanings, just like our dental visits.  No drills.

I recommend dentals.  For me it’s a no brainer.

Rise Vet Boulder is Boulder’s new veterinary clinic specializing in medicine and surgery for cats and dogs. We will be opening late summer. Serving pet lovers in Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette, Longmont and along the Front Range. Contact us for an appointment today.