This is an area of veterinary medicine that is often neglected and historically the impact of dental disease on quality of life and health had not been recognised.

Dental disease is a common problem in cats and dogs it is thought that as many as 85% of animals aged 3 years and over have some form of dental disease.

Unfortunately the majority of dental disease occurs in the older dog especially if build up of tartar and any gum disease is not dealt with at an early stage. Once tartar has built up tooth cleaning will not help to remove it and a scale and polish is needed. This is done under anaesthetic to ensure it is a safe procedure.

If you have any concerns about your pets breath or teeth make an appointment with one of our nursing team who can advise and reassure you on dental health and whether your pet needs to see the veterinary surgeon. The vet can discuss any risks associated with your individual pet and give an estimate of costs which always includes one or more forms of pain relief, intra-operative fluids and medication and all post operative checks. We have a simple 2 tiered charging of major and minor extractions (under 3 teeth). These are set charges and not related to time taken.

We have a designated dental room where we have all the equipment necessary to carry out all the regular procedures you would expect from your own dentist. We have updated all our equipment and now have the facility of dental radiographs and all the necessary equipment for surgical extractions. We also have a full rabbit dental suite. Our Senior Veterinary surgeon Honor Etherington has a special interest in dentistry including rabbit dentistry.

We want to promote dental radiographs of cats as routine to allow for extraction planning. Cats often have a disease know as FRLs and to avoid unnecessary trauma to the mouth it is of benefit to know if a cat has tooth roots that are starting to become part of the jaw and no longer have an extractable root. We are currently looking at ways of absorbing these costs into our regular dental prices.

Some younger cat dental disease may be a symptom of underlying viral disease, your vet will offer screening for this if deemed appropriate.

Check out www.icatcare.org and search for dental disease in cats.