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Updated policies - Find out all the information about our updated policies at the bottom of the page.

Dentistry

Full dental services for your pet

Dental disease occurs in 80% of cats and dogs over 3 years of age. Taverham Veterinary Hospital recognises that dental care and hygiene plays an integral part in the overall health, comfort and wellbeing of our pets. 

We are proud to have invested in our dental services and are able to offer a wide variety of investigative procedures and treatments all within our separate dental suite, including dental x-ray. 

The dental team includes Veterinary Surgeons Catherine Pitcher and Chrislyn Coolman, both of whom are certificate holders in Small Animal Dentistry. Together we are committed to providing the highest level of care to your pets undergoing dental treatment. 

  • Stage I
  • Stage II
  • Why is the procedure split into two stages?
  • Is this going to cost me more?
  • Are multiple anaesthetics safe for my pet?
  • My groomer offers conscious teeth cleaning…
  • What happens after Stage II?
  • Will the cost be claimable on my pet insurance?
  • What if my pet is left with no remaining teeth?
  • My pet’s teeth don’t look that bad to me

Stage I

Stage I – Dental charting, scale and polish, and full mouth x-rays

  • Vet or Veterinary Nurse admission to assess patient pre-operatively, as well as discuss details of procedure and estimate with the owner.
  • Pre-anaesthetic bloods (recommended for all patients older than 8 years, or if there is a clinical indication in those younger).
  • IV fluids (if indicated based on blood results and /or vital stats whilst under general anaesthesia).
  • Premedication and pre-emptive analgesia followed by induction of general anaesthesia.
  • Dental charting of teeth and mouth.
  • Descale.
  • Full mouth dental radiographs.
  • Extraction of excessively mobile teeth.
  • Recovery of patient.
  • Discharge with veterinary nurse or vet for discussion of findings (gross and radiographic), as well as future recommendations.
  • Scheduling of Stage II (if required) 3-8 weeks later, including production of estimate by vet.
  • Home with additional pain relief and/or antibiotics (if indicated).
  • Note: 10% off for PHC members.
  • Nurse post-op check 3 - 10 days post procedure if required
  • Communication with owner following radiographs to discuss findings and possible extractions needed.

Stage II

Stage II – Oral Surgery

  • Second procedure performed 1-4 weeks after the first, to complete surgery requirements identified during Stage I.
  • Admission with vet or nurse.
  • Repeat pre-anaesthetic bloods (if indicated based on previous blood results).
  • IV fluids (if required as per Stage I).
  • Premedication and pre-emptive analgesia followed by induction of general anaesthesia.
  • Tooth extraction(s) or crown amputation(s) (e.g. Feline Resorptive Lesions Type 2).
  • Suturing of gums after tooth extractions.
  • Repeat x-rays post extractions (if indicated).
  • Recovery of patient.
  • Discharge with Vet or Veterinary Nurse
  • Home with analgesia (with or without antibiotics).
  • Discounts as for Stage I (i.e. 10% off PHC).
  • Post-op check with nurse after 3 -10 days.
  • Final check after 10 days for discussion of on-going dental prophylaxis and management plan, as well as dental check frequency with oral health nurse.

Why is the procedure split into two stages?

Why is the procedure split into two stages?

  • The main reason for this is to prevent your pet from being under anaesthesia for an excessively long period of time. The charting, scale and polish, and full mouth x-rays (i.e. Stage I) can take up to one hour alone.
  • Extended anaesthetics can lead to low blood pressure issues (hypotension), as well as the development of a reduced body temperature (hypothermia), both of which can be harmful to your pet’s anaesthetic safety and recovery.
  • It also allows for proper planning of the required oral surgery, rather than unexpected diseases being identified during dental radiography, and these having to be addressed immediately.
  • Performing Stage II on a separate day allows the oral surgery to be performed in a cleaner environment, rather than immediately after the descaling process.
  • Two planned, shorter procedures increase the likelihood of smoother and timelier recoveries at both stages.

Is this going to cost me more?

Is this going to cost me more?

  • No, we have structured our dentistry fees so that the price paid is the same as it would have been if charged under one sitting.
  • However, the staging process allows us to properly estimate for what is involved.

Are multiple anaesthetics safe for my pet?

Are multiple anaesthetics safe for my pet?

  • If your pet is able to receive one anaesthetic, then there is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to cope with a second (or third).
  • The premedication and anaesthetic combinations that we use are selected specifically for your pet, based on their individual health needs.
  • Furthermore, every pet’s anaesthetic is closely monitored by trained professionals, as well as electronic multiparameter anaesthetic monitoring equipment.
  • In all cases, consideration has to be given to the risks and benefits. However, in the case of dental disease, then the benefits often outweigh the risks.
  • Two shorter planned anaesthetics are certainly much safer than one excessively long one, especially when dealing with a chronic problem, which is elective as opposed to being an emergency.

My groomer offers conscious teeth cleaning…

My groomer offers conscious teeth cleaning…

So why do you require them to have an anaesthetic?

  • Although some groomers offer this practice, it presents a major animal welfare concern.
  • The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) have published the following statement regarding non-anaesthesia dentistry (NAD) in their Global Dental Guidelines;
  1. Veterinary organisations worldwide agree that dentistry without anaesthesia is not medically beneficial.
  2. The person conducting the dental procedure cannot possibly evaluate the pathology, nor conduct any meaningful sub gingival treatment without proper anaesthesia.
  3. This may lead to a cosmetically improved oral cavity with persistent infection, inflammation, and pain.
  4. Therefore, not only is the procedure ineffective, it often results in masking the pathology present, which delays appropriate care.
  5. This directly opposes the welfare benefits, and improvements to quality of life, that are at the centre of these guidelines.
  6. Additionally, the stress or discomfort incurred during this time consuming cosmetic procedure is wholly avoidable and indefensible from a medical and ethical standpoint.
  7. As such, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association strongly objects to the practice of veterinary dentistry without appropriate anaesthesia is inadequate, and provides a substandard level of care, which may be misleading to the pet owner.

What happens after Stage II?

What happens after Stage II?

  • Once the Stage II procedure is complete and all the oral disease is under control, then the process doesn’t stop there.
  • On-going home dental care and routine check-ups are essential to maintain your pet’s mouth, gums, and remaining teeth in as healthy a state as possible.
  • Daily tooth brushing with pet toothpaste is the Gold Standard, as plaque begins to accumulate within 24 hours of being removed.
  • Regular nurse appointments are recommended after a dental procedure, to ensure that success is being achieved, and to help and offer advice if problems are starting to return.
  • The first appointment should initially be 3-4 weeks after completion of the final Stage II post op check.
  • Thereafter, we will recommend seeing your pet every 3-6 months so that future oral health is monitored and maintained.

Will the cost be claimable on my pet insurance?

Will the cost be claimable on my pet insurance?

Many insurance companies specifically exclude dental procedures. A small number of policies may potentially cover your pet but there are often certain details in the small print that may affect the claim. If you would like to be sure your insurance policy will cover the cost beforehand, we are happy to help with a pre-authorisation form from your insurance company – ask our team for more details.

What if my pet is left with no remaining teeth?

What if my pet is left with no remaining teeth?

While this is actually quite an uncommon situation dogs and cats eat very well with no teeth, often even managing to eat dry food.

My pet’s teeth don’t look that bad to me

My pet’s teeth don’t look that bad to me and he/she is still eating ok so why is a dental procedure being recommended by the vet/nurse?

  • Dental disease can lead to unrelenting pain and unchecked infection, create stress to the immune system and physiological stress that is linked with local and systemic diseases.
  • Behavioural changes due to oral pain can be vague and non-specific, and rarely result in loss of appetite.
  • Periodontal infections have been linked to numerous systemic illnesses including diabetes and heart disease.
  • Periodontal disease has been associated with numerous severe local effects including; oronasal fistula, oral cancer, mandibular fractures and bone infection.