Dr. Kevin is passionate about oral care for your pets and has years of experience dealing with routine procedures as well as having more advanced training in this field. His devotion to this important area of pet health has led him to focus the majority of his surgery practice to dentistry since 2005. His interest in dentistry started with the realization that few of our pets have good oral health and an overwhelming percentage of them suffer silently with chronic and sometimes significant mouth pain. As veterinarians we have a duty to reduce suffering in our patients, to be able to do so with one procedure never ceases to amaze us.
Dr. Kevin enjoys discussing dentistry with all pet parents because even though he loves treating oral disease he would prefer stopping it before it starts. Please call the hospital to schedule a dental consultation with us.
Why Pet Dental Care is Important
Dental hygiene is an important part of your pet’s health and can often be the cause of serious illness. Dental problems, if left untreated, can often lead to larger systemic problems in your pet due to oral bacteria entering the blood stream and damaging the kidneys, heart and liver.
Pets have dental disease just like you do. Many of these problems can be avoided by bringing your pet to your veterinarian for regular dental check-ups and teeth cleanings. Bad breath and/or reddened gums are the most common signs of dental problems.
Some signs of dental problems include:
- Bad breath – one of the first signs of dental disease
- A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
- Red and swollen gums
- Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched
- Decreased appetite or difficulty eating
- Loose or missing teeth
What Happens During a Cleaning
Veterinary dentistry is quite different from the equivalent process in people. For most of us, caring for our teeth and gums has been part of our daily routine for as long as we can remember. Consequently, a person’s visit to the dentist is relatively brief and does not require sedation. In contrast, veterinary dentistry is considerably more involved, time-consuming and complex. Cleaning a pet’s teeth requires general anesthesia, and consequently a day of hospitalization. The skills of several people, from veterinarians to veterinary technicians and animal attendants, are required for each dental procedure.
At Family Veterinary Hospital, your pet’s dental cleaning begins with a physical examination. This examination is important for evaluating your pet’s general health. After the physical exam, your pet is given an anesthetic for a safe and painless sleep during the dental cleaning.
The first part of dental cleaning requires the removal of tartar. Family Veterinary Hospital is able to take digital dental xrays to access the teeth roots if needed. Next, an ultrasonic scaler is used to clean above the gumline while a curette cleans and smoothes the teeth under the gumline in the crevice. Then your pet’s teeth are polished and the gums are washed with an anti-bacterial solution to help delay tartar build-up.
Prevention: The Best Medicine
Dental care does not end with a visit to your veterinarian. You need to continue your veterinarian’s good work at home. Brushing your pet’s teeth is an important part of home dental care. The staff at Family Veterinary Hospital can show you the proper method of brushing your pet’s teeth.
About Dr. Inman’s Experience
Dr. Inman’s passion is dentistry, and over the past three years his surgery time has been almost entirely devoted to this area of general health. This has enabled him to learn far more than is in the curriculum of veterinary schools, where oral health is often an afterthought. He routinely takes dental x-rays to assess the roots of teeth that appear to be unhealthy – the only way to know what method of care is best. In the years to come, he will take further courses from specialists to expand the services he will be able to provide to your pets.
While Dr. Inman can treat most dental problems we see, there are times a specialist should be involved. In these cases, you wil be referred to a board certified veterinary dentist.