Hamilton Veterinary Clinic (HVC) is dedicated to helping your pet live a long, happy and healthy life. Dental health is essential to your furry friends wellbeing.
Our long term goal for your pet is for them to retain all their teeth in healthy condition for their entire life. Initially the aim is to prevent plaque from sticking to teeth. Plaque contains bacteria which, if left on the teeth will cause inflammation and infection in the gum and periodontal tissues. Eventually the infection will find its way into the blood stream and then into essential organs like the heart and kidneys. The teeth will also be compromised and will either fall out or have to be taken out during dental procedures.
The most effective methods for preventing plaque on teeth are:
- Daily brushing: This will require some training but can be achieved by slowly building up your pet to accepting a brush. Pet safe toothpaste is recommended and comes flavoured to help with acceptance.
- Dental Hygiene Chews: Oravet is the recommended brand of daily oral care chews that fights the source of bad breath by reducing plaque and tartar. Oravet is one of the few products that is accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)
- Quality Diet: Hills is the pet food recommended by HVC. In both dog and cat, the Vet Essentials adult food helps with the prevention of tartar build up. Pets with tartar build up have an increased risk of dental disease, we recommend Hills Prescription Diet t/d that is clinically proven in reducing plaque and tartar accumulation. Prescription diet t/d will all help reduce teeth staining and promote healthy gums. Hills t/d uses an exclusive fibre matrix designed to work like a toothbrush as your pet chews. With every bite, the fibre matrix scrubs the tooth surface to clean teeth and freshen breath.
- Oral Cleanser: Maxiguard Oral Cleansing Gel is user-friendly and an effective oral cleanser, and breath freshener for dogs and cats. Maxiguard is natural, safe for daily use, inexpensive, taste free and is well accepted by our furry friends.
It is important to recognise the signs and symptoms of dental problems, which include:
- Bad breath is one of the first signs of dental disease. It is a common misconception that pets have bad breath.
- A yellowish/ brownish crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
- Red and swollen gums
- Pain or bleeding when your pet eats
- Decreased appetite, difficulty eating or a preference to a softer food
- Loose or missing teeth
Hamilton Vet Clinic are equipped with state of the art equipment including a dental station with high and low speed drills, an ultrasonic scaler and a digital dental x-ray machine.
Should your pet already have plaque on their teeth our veterinarians and experienced veterinary nurses will grade the disease in your pet’s mouth from grade 1 to grade 4 depending on the severity of the disease.
Grade 1: Early build up of plaque and tartar with minimal gum changes
Grade 2: Moderate build up of plaque with some changes occurring to the gums
Grade 3: Moderate to severe gum changes with some teeth requiring extraction
Grade 4: Severe gum changes with many if not all teeth requiring extraction
It is important to intervene early with dental disease so that we can avoid the mouth progressing past Grade 2. These gum changes become more irreversible with teeth extractions required.
We recommend that all pets have:
- A dental check up every 6 months if they have a grading of higher than 1
- A thorough dental health check annually. This can be performed at the annual health check and vaccination
- Regular scale and polish treatments if the mouth is grade 1 or worse. It is preferable to do these checks regularly so that we can halt the progression of gum disease
- Compromised teeth need to be examined and x-rayed. If required, they should be extracted so that the pet doesn’t have to live with permanent pain
We have priced our dental program to encourage pet owners to have their pet’s teeth professionally cleaned under anaesthetic. We offer our grade 1 dental procedures at a fraction of the regular cost.
All dental treatments include an exam of your pet, general anaesthetic, intravenous fluids, hospitalisation, individual examination and charting of each tooth, along with a dental scale and polish.
Pets that have Grade 3 or Grade 4 dental disease will additionally require dental radiography and subsequently oral surgery to extract teeth. Your fur baby will be kept comfortable during and after the procedure with local anaesthetic, pain relief injections along with oral pain relief to take at home. We also offer a recheck after 7 days at no charge to ensure the gums are healing well after extractions and answer any further questions you may have.
Pet Dental Health Awareness Month (August and September)
Each year HVC participate in the nationally recognised Pet Dental Health Awareness Month. We are so passionate about this cause that we promote and offer discounts for 2 months each year in August and September. We also offer free dental checks all year round!
What's so special about Pet Dental Awareness Month?
Hamilton Vet Clinic are offering a 20% discount of all grade 2, 3 and 4 dental procedures. If your pet has been classed as a grade 1, you will still receive a substantial discount as part of our all year round promotion. Included in each dental procedure during dental month:
- A health check with a veterinarian
- General Anaesthetic
- Intravenous fluid therapy
- Individual examination and charting of each tooth
- Scale and polish of all teeth
- Free 7 day check up after the dental
- Take home dental dental care kit
- Grade 3 and 4 will likely require x-rays and extractions
If you would like further information about our dental program please call us on 02 49696852.