Pet Dentistry

Dedicated dental suite and advanced dentistry

Why dental disease is so important

Over 85% of dogs and cats have some type of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease simply means that the gums and bone that hold the teeth in place are being destroyed by bacteria in the mouth. This preventable disease is the number one diagnosed disease in our pets, yet many animals suffer needlessly.

We offer FREE dental checks with our nurses to see if there is a problem.

Dogs and cats hide pain very well and will continue to eat even when their mouth hurts a lot. If your pet has smelly breath or dribbles a lot then tooth problems could be the cause.  Please go to our dedicated page on dental checks for more information.

All pet dentistry should have x-rays

There are several tooth problems that cats and dogs can have that are not visible to the naked eye.  Just like human dentists rely on x-ray to see below the gum line so do we.   We advise our clients to go to either Paignton or Dawlish where vet Chris Bamford performs pet dentistry to a very high standard.  All cats get full dental x-rays as standard, dogs will get x-rays where indicated.

Advanced anaesthetic techniques to reduce discomfort

All dentistry performed in our dental suite at Paignton and Dawlish receive advanced local anaesthetic blocks to reduce any discomfort your pet may feel.  For older patients we have access to advanced monitoring to measure ECG, breathing/heart rates and capnography which allows us to adjust the anaesthetic precisely.

Advanced Qualifications

Vet Dentist, Chris Bamford, has achieved his Royal College Certificate of Advanced Veterinary Practice and is currently studying at the University of Luxembourg for his European Certificate in Small Animal Dentistry.

Before Scale and Polish

Food particles turn into plaque and tartar.

The only way to remove it is by scaling and polishing the teeth.

After Scale and Polish

Now cleaned the teeth are back to white.  Daily brushing will help to keep them clean and healthy.

Retained Tooth

The baby milk teeth should have fallen out by 6 months of age.  Problems can occur if they do not.  The retained tooth needs to be removed.

Worn Teeth

Chewing on hard objects like bones, nylabones, antlers can wear or break teeth.  This can be painful and lead to tooth root abscesses.
If your pet needs dental work always ask your vet

  • Do they have dental x-ray?
  • Do they use local anaesthetic blocks?
  • Do they have an interest in dentistry?
  • Are they undertaking or have taken advanced training?

We can answer yes to all of these!

How does dental disease start?

Periodontal disease begins with plaque
Periodontal disease begins with gingivitis, or inflammation of the gum tissue, which is caused by plaque. Plaque is a mixture of saliva, bacteria, glycoproteins and sugars that adhere to the tooth surface. Within minutes after a cleaning, a thin layer of plaque has adhered to the teeth.
Plaque becomes tartar
Eventually this hardens to become calculus or tartar. Calculus by itself is not a problem – it does not cause disease. However, it does create a rough surface for more plaque to adhere to, and pushes the gums away from the teeth, which increases surface area for more plaque to adhere.
Bacteria destroys the bone holding the tooth
Eventually, the supporting structures of the tooth (bone, tissue, periodontal ligament) are destroyed and the tooth becomes mobile and will either fall out on its own or need to be extracted.
What can you do to help?
Veterinarians recommend the following care for pets:

STEP 1: Bring your pet in for a FREE dental exam. Don’t wait for his annual check-up if you suspect a problem.

STEP 2: Begin a dental care regimen at home. Brushing your pet’s teeth daily is very important. We also recommend using a specially formulated dental rinse, and dental chews and food. Please ask us if you need instructions on brushing your pet’s teeth, or if you have any other questions.

STEP 3: Schedule your pets for an annual teeth cleaning with x-rays. This is also very important and ensures we are catching any disease early enough to treat. Periodontal disease and oral bacteria can easily affect other organ systems including the heart, liver, kidneys, lungs and brain.