Complete dental care for your cat from kittenhood through the senior years
Dental disease is the most common health problem we see at the Chicago Cat Clinic, and dental care is a necessary and very important component of your cat’s health. Plaque is formed on the teeth daily and accumulates over time leading to inflammation of the gums. The plaque continually builds and hardens to tartar. Over time, this inflammation can spread from the gums to the bone and ligaments supporting the teeth, leading to bone loss, gum recession, and ultimately, tooth loss or abscess formation. The bacteria in the mouth can travel through the blood stream to the heart and kidneys contributing to other problems.
Prevention, again, is the key to keeping the gums and teeth healthy. Cats also commonly develop holes in their teeth called feline oral resorptive lesions. These are defects in the enamel that will grow and spread into the sensitive parts of the tooth causing pain. Eventually, these resorptive lesions destroy the crown and roots of the tooth. Due to the serious consequences of dental disease in cats, at the annual physical examination we will make recommendations about the need for professional dental cleaning and at home dental care.
A dental procedure at Chicago Cat Clinic begins with physical exam and an injection of a pre-operative pain medication and sedative to help calm your cat. The cat is then given an injection of an anesthetic agent to induce anesthesia and a breathing tube or endotracheal tube is placed to protect your cat’s airway. The cat will then receive oxygen and anesthetic gas through this tube throughout the procedure. All teeth are then scaled with an ultrasonic dental scaler and polished.
A doctor will then do a full oral exam and evaluate each tooth individually for evidence of periodontal disease or resorptive lesions. Diseased teeth will be extracted if needed. We also have the ability to x-ray suspicious teeth to evaluate for presence of dental disease and also can use the x-ray to verify full extraction of root tissue. Throughout the entire procedure a veterinary technician is at your cat’s side monitoring respiration, temperature and heart rate.
Once the procedure is finished we monitor your cat very closely until they are fully awake from anesthesia. Cats are sent home with pain medication or antibiotics as needed. We also can send home preventative dental supplies such as brushes and feline specific toothpaste since after a cleaning is the best time to start!