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Dental work for cats?

Kalou
June 3rd, 2010, 01:54 PM
My one cat has some tartar on his back teeth, even though I brush them every week. My vet says that I should get them professionally cleaned (which will cost about $250 at my vet).

Is this necessary?
Is there anything else I can do without getting them professionally cleaned?

Thanks!

Masha
June 3rd, 2010, 03:33 PM
My vet says that I should get them professionally cleaned (which will cost about $250 at my vet)

$250? wow... thats a fraction of what i paid..

the necessity depends on your cat's dental condition. Speak with the vet so that he/she can explain why they are recommending it -- is there something specific they noticed like inflamed gums, etc.

Its a very individual based determination and no one on the board can say whether or not it is necessary....

In our case we needed to do it because the vet saw gum inflammation and was concerned that it may lead to bigger problems. as well two teeth looked suspicious and they needed to clean the teeth to see below the tartar.

laceyf53
June 28th, 2010, 12:23 AM
I would check with the SPCA and other non profit organizations to see if there is an anesthesia free teeth cleaning clinic going on in the area. I pay 80 dollars per cat, and I get their teeth cleaned this year (I usually do it ever other year to every 3 years depending). I know that you just switched foods to Orijen, that should significantly help your cat build up less plaque in the future. Since cats are carnivores, they do not produce the same types of enzymes in their mouths that omnivores produce to fight off plaque caused by grains and sugars. When cats eat diets that are high in carbohydrates, the residue left in their mouth turns into plaque and decay. This is why I mentioned earlier that low carbohydrate diets are so important. I think you can find a way to get your cat's teeth cleaned for way less than 250 dollars, especially if her teeth are not infected.

Love4himies
June 28th, 2010, 06:46 AM
I would check with the SPCA and other non profit organizations to see if there is an anesthesia free teeth cleaning clinic going on in the area. I pay 80 dollars per cat, and I get their teeth cleaned this year (I usually do it ever other year to every 3 years depending). I know that you just switched foods to Orijen, that should significantly help your cat build up less plaque in the future. Since cats are carnivores, they do not produce the same types of enzymes in their mouths that omnivores produce to fight off plaque caused by grains and sugars. When cats eat diets that are high in carbohydrates, the residue left in their mouth turns into plaque and decay. This is why I mentioned earlier that low carbohydrate diets are so important. I think you can find a way to get your cat's teeth cleaned for way less than 250 dollars, especially if her teeth are not infected.

Do you know of vets who clean teeth without anesthesia?

sugarcatmom
June 28th, 2010, 07:17 AM
It is so NOT a good idea to get anesthesia-free dentals done, for several reasons:

- a proper cleaning, with scraping done below the gum line (where most of the damage occurs), is actually quite painful.

- x-rays can't be taken to determine the status of the teeth below the gum line. Visually examining the teeth above the gum line isn't good enough, as issues like resportive lesions will be missed.

- STRESS! A proper cleaning is going to take a little while, depending on the state of the teeth, and all cats are going to be extremely stressed by this process, even if there is no pain. Heck, most people are stressed when going to the dentist, can you imagine what that would be like from a fully conscious cat's perspective?

Here's a post by Dr. Lee on this topic: http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?p=458691&highlight=dental+cleaning#post458691

mikischo
June 28th, 2010, 08:05 AM
The following is the position statement on Veterinarian Dentistry issued by the College of Veterinarians of Ontario:

http://www.cvo.org/uploadattachments/dentistry.pdf

Although I haven't checked, it is likely that other provinces would have similar regulations.

Among other things, it clearly states the following:

Anesthesia
The cleaning and scaling of the teeth of companion animals must be performed with general anesthesia with the use of an endotracheal tube with an inflated cuff in order to meet acceptable standards of practice for veterinarians in Ontario.

ancientgirl
June 28th, 2010, 08:40 AM
I had my own teeth cleaned and under gum scraping once without anesthesia, the dentist said it wasn't going to be necessary and likened to getting put under for a pedicure.

It was the most painful experience of my life, and more like torture than anything. I kept waiting for her to ask me "Is it safe?" *shivers*

Your cat will likely be very stressed, and not so compliant about keeping her mouth open while the procedure is being done, so I really don't see how you can do this without anesthesia.

I do know if your cat's teeth need cleaning, it's good to make sure her mouth is healthy. Any infection can lead to more serious health issues in the future.

laceyf53
June 28th, 2010, 03:43 PM
Do you know of vets who clean teeth without anesthesia?

I do not, I am sure that most if not all veterinarians use anesthesia. The man who cleans my dog and cat's teeth is a vet technician named Will (I would have to look up his last name). Because I have so many pets, it's a lot easier for me to keep up on their teeth this way. Of course I should put in my situation, my pets have no visual dental tarter or plaque build up. They do not have inflamed gums, or other visual periodontal disorders, or even bad breath. The vet tech uses an oral gel solution to numb the gums, puts the cats (or dog) on his lap and performs a procedure very similar to how we get our teeth cleaned. He does get under the gums with the u shaped tool, then the teeth are scraped and then polished. My last veterinarian gave me the go ahead to give my cats Benedryl as a mild sedative, which makes the whole thing go by really well for them. My dog gets a bit of valerian root before his turn, and everyone comes out looking and feeling pretty good.

I might also add for prevention I use Proden Plaque Off. This stuff is AMAZING! My animals have incredible dental health, and although it's hard to get in some areas, I think it is worth it.

And good quality raw bones are an excellent way to prevent plaque build up and promote healthy gums. I buy ham bones from nature's variety for the dog, and my cats usually get the turkey necks from nature's variety.

Here is the link to Plauqeoff
http://www.plaqueoff.com/proden_plaqueoff_animal/proden_plaqueoff_animal.htm

sugarcatmom
June 28th, 2010, 04:32 PM
I might also add for prevention I use Proden Plaque Off.

I would not give this product to cats. It's too high in iodine, and excess iodine can be a risk factor for developing hyperthyroidism.

Soft raw bones like chicken necks (or turkey, since your cats go for them) or chicken gizzards are definitely great for teeth cleaning though :thumbs up. Dry food, not so much. Even a low-ish carb dry food like Orijen (and it's still not low-carb enough, at about 15% of calories coming from carbs) isn't suitable for feline consumption.