If the veterinary surgeon examines your pet and decides that they require dental work, this is done at the surgery under a general anaesthetic. Ark Veterinary Practice is equipped with a high pressure work station for dentistry, located in a dedicated dental room. This is very similar to the equipment used by human dentists and has various attachments to help clean and polish teeth or extract teeth if necessary.
A dental scale and polish involves the removal of calculus /tartar and plaque from the crown and the sulcus area (under the gum line). Ultrasonic tips, which vibrate at 30,000 times a second, are used to clean these areas. The teeth are then polished smooth with a mechanical polisher. This helps slow down the reattachment of plaque.
Further information on animals’ teeth and any dentistry required is available on the British Veterinary Dental Association (BVDA) website.
After your pet’s dental, post-operative checks will be scheduled with either a vet or a veterinary nurse at an appropriate time. During this appointment, we can check your pet’s mouth is healing (if teeth have been extracted) and also advise you on post dental care. Once a dental has been carried out it is important that steps are taken to try to delay and prevent further tartar build up and avoid your pet needing any further dental work.
Please use this link to find out more information about home care of your pet’s teeth and dental disease in animals:
Rabbits also often require dental treatment. Their teeth are continually growing and should wear down continually. Each tooth in a rabbit’s mouth has an opposing tooth upon which it should grind against. Any malocclusion (misalignment) of the jaw(s) prevents the two opposing teeth from meeting and wearing down, leading to sharp edges (and eventually hooks and spurs) building up on the molar (cheek) teeth.
Overgrown teeth can grow into the tender tissues of the cheek and tongue causing signs such as excessive salivation and reluctance to eat (due to pain). Whilst under anaesthetic, a special rabbit dental kit is used to rasp (file) and clip your rabbit’s teeth to enable them to eat again comfortably. This procedure is something that many rabbits require repeatedly as their teeth are continually growing. Changing your rabbit’s diet to include roughage and high fibre foods can help slow down any overgrowth and in some cases prevent the need for further dentistry.
Some rabbits have incisor (front) teeth that overgrow; extraction (ie removal) of these teeth is often the best method of tackling the situation but each case needs careful assessment.
Please find more information on rabbit dental disease and treatment at the Rabbit Welfare Fund website.