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Dental and Oral Health

A Guide to Comparing Dental Services

The doctors and staff at the Shiloh Veterinary Hospital strongly promote preventative dental health care for all of our patients. Preventative measures, such as brushing teeth daily and offering effective tartar control products, can help slow the process of dental disease or even avoid it altogether. Dental disease can cause a wide variety of health problems as well as chronic pain and poor quality of life for your pet. When your pet needs a dental procedure such as teeth cleaning or extractions of infected teeth, he or she deserves high quality care.

If you desire the kind of care for your furry friend that you would want for yourself or another family member, it is important to be sure of the quality of care that you are being offered. Different veterinary hospitals can offer similar procedures at very different levels of quality. To obtain high quality care, we recommend that you choose a hospital with high standards. When inquiring about services, please ask what is included with the procedure, as well as who will be performing the procedure. It’s also very important to know what precautions will be taken to minimize pain and maximize safety. A clinic with high standards will be happy to talk to you about these crucial aspects of dental procedures. It’s also a good idea to request a tour of the hospital facilities. We’re happy to offer tours of either Shiloh Veterinary Hospital when requested.

Gathering as much information as possible will help you to choose the veterinarian and practice who will provide the best care for your animal. To assist you in making an informed decision, we have created a checklist of all that is included with the dental procedures we perform. This information can be used to help compare our procedures with those offered by other veterinary hospitals. We encourage and welcome any questions that you may have regarding our services.

■ Pre-Anesthetic Blood Testing:

A small sample is drawn by one of our skilled veterinary technicians to ensure that your pet’s internal organs, such as kidneys and liver, are functioning correctly and will be able to properly process anesthetic drugs.

■ Pre- and Post-Operative Pain Medication:

Studies have shown that pain medication given before a procedure can more effectively prevent pain than medication only given after a procedure. It has also been proven that pain control for post-surgery patients promotes faster healing (Extractions and gum growth removals are examples of dental surgeries.). At the Shiloh Veterinary Hospital, pain control is not optional. We provide pain control for all patients before, during and after painful procedures.

■ Anesthetic Monitoring:

Very early signs of anesthetic complications can be detected by monitoring blood pressure, blood oxygen level and electrical heart activity for anesthetized patients. Our surgical team includes a trained assistant who monitors and records these parameters for each patient while under anesthesia.

■ IV Catheter & Fluids:

Before anesthetizing patients for dental or surgical procedures we place an IV catheter and begin administering sterile fluids. IV fluids help to maintain blood pressure in a safe range, preserve kidney function during anesthesia, and aid in pain control. An IV catheter allows instant access to the circulatory system, which is vital in treating anesthetic complications.

■ Dental Radiographs:

Up to 50% of dental problems in cats and dogs can go undetected without dental radiographs. They are also helpful and sometimes necessary to ensure that no root fragments remain in the jaw after a complicated tooth extraction. The American Animal Hospital Association’s Dental Care Guidelines recommend routine dental x-rays during all dental procedures. At Shiloh Veterinary Hospital, we offer digital dental x-ray technology to create high quality images and allow for shorter anesthesia times.

■ Detailed Written Aftercare Instructions:

Clear written aftercare instructions are important to help you understand what to expect after your cat or dog was anesthetized for a dental procedure. The instructions we provide include guidelines for observing potential post-anesthesia problems as well as a personalized home dental care plan.