Planning for your puppy’s dental health

Dental Care for Puppies - Veterinary DentistryAre you bringing a new puppy home? There’s nothing quite like the first time you and your family hold your new puppy! They are so soft, cuddly and they have that sweet smelling puppy breath when they give you those kisses.

While they don’t stay puppies for long, and the puppy breath eventually fades, there’s still a great deal you can do to help your puppy keep a clean and health mouth into adulthood.

First, you have to commit to maintaining your puppy’s dental health over the long term. This means being prepared for an annual visit to your veterinarian for a complete pet dental cleaning and oral health exam. Anesthesia free pet dental cleanings are NOT of any benefit to your dog and may cause further damage and periodontal disease in the long term, which in addition to being costly to treat, causes your dog a great deal of pain. Your dog has teeth just like you, so a regular visit to the dog dentist is as important as it is for it’s owners.

Second, you can implement regular home dental care for your puppy right away. Brushing your puppy’s teeth with a pet safe dental product is one of the best things you can do to help prevent plaque build up on their teeth. If you begin a puppy teeth brushing routine right away, not only will you be promoting their dental health, but you’ll get them used to their mouth being touched and examined so when they visit the vet dentist, they won’t be as afraid or anxious.

Third, there are a number of veterinary dental products that can assist in promoting good dental health for your puppy. As board certified veterinary dentists, we encourage the use of Veterinary Oral Health Council approved products. VOHC products include chews, water additives and dental diets that are proven to reduce plaque build up on a dogs teeth. Keep in mind that when you choose a chew toy or product for your puppy or even an adult dog, it should be bendable so they don’t break teeth. If you can’t bend it, they could easily fracture a tooth while chewing.

Promoting good puppy dental health through regular pet dental checkups at the veterinarian and providing regular care at home is the best way to keep your new puppy’s mouth clean and healthy. If you see something abnormal in your puppy’s mouth or are concerned about a more serious dental problem, it is a good idea to contact a board certified veterinary dentist who specializes in pet dental care and can offer the best treatment plan.

 

Annual Veterinary Dental Forum

The recent Veterinary Dental Forum was attended by veterinarians and veterinary technicians from around the world. Over 1000 individuals attended the three days of lectures and instructional labs on veterinary dentistry. The annual vet dental forum is an opportunity for our group of board certified veterinary dentists to come together and share with one another as well as provide education to the entire veterinary community, which ultimately impacts both oral and overall health of people’s pets.

Dr. Dale Kressin, of Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery Specialists taught a lab about veterinary oral surgery and dental extraction techniques. Dr. Tony Woodward, Animal Dental Care, presented about Warm Gutta Percha Obturation Techniques and Vital Pulp Therapy. Dr. Brook Niemiec, Southern California Veterinary Specialties, presented on unusual feline oral pathology, surgical veterinary endodontics, dental emergencies and advanced periodontal treatment. Dr. Michael Peak, Tampa Bay Veterinary Dentistry, taught numerous labs on endodontics as well as a lab on veterinary dentin bonding and composite restorations.

Dr. Robert Boyd, Veterinary Dental Services, presented two hours of advanced lecture on veterinary endodontics and 2-four hour advanced lab sessions on veterinary endodontics. Lectures covered LightSpeed (LSX) Instruments that are used for root canal treatment in animals including dogs, cats and some zoo animals as well as the EndoVac a negative pressure irrigation system that is used in concert with LSX instruments to clean and disinfect an animals root canal system. These lab sessions were attended by veterinarians, veterinary dentists and residents who are learning advanced veterinary dental techniques. Dr. Boyd first introduced this innovative endodontic instrument system to veterianry dentists at the 16th Annual Veterinary Dental Forum. Since LightSpeed was first introduced many advances and changes have taken place in both the instruments and and their use. EndoVac is a relatively new irrigation system that compliments the LSX instruments to effectively treat endodontic disease in animals.

Dr. Curt Coffman of Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists presented instructional lectures on veterinary root canal treatment and crown restorations, and organized a hands-on lab with Dr. Robert Furman, of Southern California Veterinary Dental Specialties, teaching veterinarians the basics of metal crown restorations in dogs. Dr. P. Vall of Animal Dental Care also offered presentations on surgical extractions of maxilliary and mandibular molars as well as gingival physiology.

During the Awards presentation Dr. Visser as a past winner, presented the award for the 2012 Fellow of the Year. (Left to Right Dr. Brook Niemiec Dr. Randi Brannon, Dr. Ken Capron and Dr. Chris Visser )