Our Patients are Reluctant
Have you ever tried opening your cat or dog’s mouth and being able to examine every single tooth without them squirming, pulling away or taking a swipe at you?
We’re guessing you can’t. And neither can we.
Unfortunately – pets just aren’t co-operative when it comes to looking inside their mouths – particularly if their mouth is sore.
That’s why we can only ever give you limited information about the true state of your pet’s oral health when we examine them in a consultation. We might be able to partially evaluate some of the front teeth but rarely can we see deep into their mouths at the teeth and gums down the back without stressing them out.
All we can do in this situation is give you an idea of your pet’s oral health status which generally means applying special numbers called Dental Grades.
Dental Disease Grading
Dental Disease is a progressive disease which is classified according to severity. These stages are based on what we can see while examining your pet’s mouth in a consultation and are simplistically explained as follows:
Grade 0-1 – No Evidence of Dental Disease
No visible signs of dental disease. Generally found only in young pets or those having regular preventative dentals to keep them this way. To keep your pets oral health at this stage – regular Preventative “Scale and Polish” dentals are recommended.
Grade 2 – Mild Gingivitis – Early Stage Periodontal Disease
Here we see evidence of the beginning signs of developing disease. Slightly inflamed gums, plaque and some hardened plaque. (Tartar) A Dental will be recommended to remove this dangerous build up thereby halting further progression of dental disease.
This is the Good Stage – no permanent damage to teeth and gums seems to be present. We call this the “reversible” stage – You can still do something to return your pet’s mouth to good health.
Book your pet in for a Dental as soon as possible – otherwise you’ll risk progressing to the irreversible stages.
Grade 3 Dental Disease -Mild Gingivitis, Established Periodontal Disease
Ouch! This is already getting more serious and will be causing your pet pain. Gums are red, inflamed and swollen. Your pet’s mouth is smelly (due to bacteria build up) Moderate amounts of hard brown tartar is present. Some teeth may already be damaged and need to be removed. A professional dental is urgently needed if your pet has reached this stage.
Grade 4+ Severe Gingivitis – Advanced Periodontal Disease
Bacteria are circulating in the bloodstream threatening the liver, kidneys and heart. Teeth will have to be removed and the gums stitched. A dental procedure is needed urgently – with no exceptions or alternative options possible.
Fee Estimations for Dental Procedures
Given the difficulty in making accurate assessment of your pet’s mouth while awake – the best we can do is provide a fee estimation that ranges between best case scenario and worst case scenario for any stage greater than Grade 1 Preventative Dental Scale and Polish.
Your pet’s dental health best assessed while fast asleep under General Anaesthesia where we have the opportunity to examine each tooth individually as well as visualise the whole oral cavity.
This is why we provide free dental assessments for all patients undergoing general anaesthesia in our practice.
We can contact you if we feel your pet would benefit from a dental at the same time as their other procedure.
By combining the dental procedure with the existing procedure saves you money in the long term because you are not paying for each procedure individually.
Please be aware -the longer you ignore developing dental disease – the more costly it will be treat in the latter stages – not to mention the pain this causes to your pet.
Admitting Your Pet for Surgery
Be prepared for our staff to inform you that we will be performing a free dental examination while your pet is under anaesthesia. We will contact you if we find that your pet would benefit from having a dental performed with the procedure and you can then decide from there.