Lincoln Land Animal Clinic, Ltd

1150 Tendick
Jacksonville, IL 62650

(217)245-9508

www.lincolnlandac.com

DENTISTRY


Your pet's dental health has a direct impact to their overall health, which is why we recommend routine teeth cleaning, both at home and professionally. Our dental services include cleaning, polishing, extractions, and minor oral surgery.  Check out the Dental FAQs listed below to learn more about how we approach dental care at Lincoln Land Animal Clinic. We’ve also included several instructional videos to help teach you how to make your pet's routine dental care a part your daily routine!


Dental FAQ's

Why should I brush my pet’s teeth?

How can I brush my pet’s teeth?

How often does my pet need to have their teeth cleaned by a veterinarian?

Can I just take my fingernail or a dental scaler to remove the calculus?

Do you have to use anesthesia to clean my pet’s teeth?

I am concerned about anesthesia. Is it safe?

What is involved in the teeth cleaning at Lincoln Land Animal Clinic?

How much does a tooth cleaning procedure cost?

What is best to feed my pet?

Which toys can damage my pet’s teeth?

What are cat cavities?

How can I tell if my pet is suffering from periodontal disease?

What type of tests are done to diagnose dental disease?

When do I have to start worrying about dental problems with my pet?

What can be done if my pet has periodontal disease?

Which animals are at most risk for periodontal disease?

What can you do to fix a broken tooth?


Why should I brush my dog's or cat's teeth?

Daily removal of plaque is the key to oral hygiene. Unless your pet's teeth are brushed daily, plaque, which is an accumulation of bacteria, will build up at the gum line. Eventually, calculus forms which further irritates the gums and infection progresses to loosen and destroy the attachment of the tooth. In addition to loose teeth, infection under the gum line can spread to the liver, kidneys, and heart.


How can I brush my animal's teeth?

It is usually a very easy and fun procedure (or it should be... if you make it a game and fun instead of a chore). First pick a soft-bristled, or finger toothbrush. Next, get toothpaste from your veterinarian. Do not use human toothpaste because it has detergents that should not be swallowed.


How often does my pet need to have it's teeth cleaned by the veterinarian?

It depends on the degree of plaque and tartar accumulation. 
You should examine your pet's teeth at least once a month to see if there is an accumulation of yellow or brown material where the tooth meets the gum line. 

Once you notice plaque or tartar accumulation, it is time for a professional cleaning. Do not wait.

Attached to the tartar are bacteria which irritate gum tissue. When treated, the inflammation will resolve. When gingivitis is left untreated, it will progress to periodontitis, which is non-curable.

Teeth cleaning should generally occur once a year. The exact interval is dependent on the rate in which tartar accumulates on your pet's teeth.


Can I just take my fingernail or a dental scaler to remove the calculus?

Dental disease occurs below the gum line. Removing the calculus from the tooth with a fingernail or other object gives the appearance of a healthier mouth and cleaner teeth but leaves the dangerous plaque to fester below the gum line. Untreated, this plaque will result in periodontal disease.  


Do you have to use anesthesia to clean my pet's teeth?

Anesthesia is necessary when performing teeth cleaning. Anesthesia provides three important functions: immobilization in order to clean below the gum line, pain control, and the ability to place a tube into the windpipe, so bacterial products do not enter the respiratory system and to deliver oxygen and gas anesthesia.


I am concerned about the anesthesia. Is it safe?

We take every effort to ensure safe anesthesia. We use the safest of anesthetic agents, and we recommend that pets complete pre-operative testing prior to anesthesia. Finally, all animals are monitored while anesthetized by a certified veterinary technician. Keep in mind that the bacteria on your pet's teeth are more dangerous than the risk of anesthesia.


What is involved in the teeth cleaning at Lincoln Land Animal Clinic?

Each teeth cleaning has eleven separate procedures performed:

  • General exam before anesthesia
  • Pre-operative blood testing (optional, but highly recommended)
  • Oral exam under anesthesia
  • Gross calculus removal
  • Subgingival (below the gumline) scaling, root planning, curettage where indicated
  • Tooth polishing
  • Irrigation
  • Post-cleaning exam
  • Dental charting for the medical record
  • Therapy if necessary
  • Home care instruction
  • We will happily schedule a follow-up appointment to see how well you are performing home care

How much does a tooth cleaning procedure cost?

Dental cleaning procedures vary in cost depending on the severity of your pet's dental disease making it impossible for us to provide costs over the phone. The treatment plan fee range is based on severity plus costs for preoperative testing, anesthesia, necessary therapy, and medication.

We will be happy to provide a treatment plan once your pet has been examined. Treatment plans based on an exam performed several months ago may be inaccurate due to the individual variability in the progression of dental disease.


What is best to feed my pet?

The best way to clean your pet’s teeth is to feed them special diets in conjunction with daily brushing. Hard food helps remove plaque from teeth. Some special diets are specifically manufactured to help keep teeth clean. Diet alone will not control plaque, which is why daily brushing is important.


What toys should I avoid to protect my pet's teeth?

Chewing on objects harder than the tooth, like cow and horse hooves,  may lead to dental fractures. Ice cubes are another common cause of fractured teeth. 


What are cat cavities?

Many cats get painful lesions at the gum line, which invade teeth. They are properly referred to as Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions (FORLs). Unfortunately we do not know what causes FORLs, and the most effective treatment involves extraction of the affected tooth. Check to see if your cat has a FORL by placing a cotton tipped applicator to the gum line and press. If a painful lesion is noted, your cat will chatter its jaw.


How can I tell if my pet is suffering from periodontal disease?

Bad breath is a leading sign of periodontal disease and comes from infection. Dogs and cats should not have disagreeable breath. If you notice a foul odor, set up an appointment for a dental exam with our team today.


What type of tests are done to diagnose dental disease?

If periodontal disease is present or if your pet has a fractured tooth, an oral exam is performed while under anesthesia. A periodontal probe is used to evaluate bone loss around each tooth.


When do I have to start worrying about dental problems with my pet?

As soon as puppy or kitten teeth emerge, it’s time to start brushing. Although baby teeth are replaced with adult teeth, teaching your puppy or kitten to love getting their teeth brushed will set up healthy habits  for life. Check out our step by step videos on how to safely brush your pet’s teeth using low stress methods.


What can be done if my pet has periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease occurs when tooth support structures are affected by infection. In the beginning stages, cleaning above and below the gum line as well as removal of calculus attached to the tooth will help restore periodontal health. In advanced cases, either periodontal surgery or extractions are performed. Antibiotics may be given to control the progression of periodontal disease.


Which animals are at most risk for periodontal disease?

Pets with misaligned mouths and/or crowded teeth are more susceptible to periodontal disease because their teeth are closer together. 


What can you do to fix a broken tooth?

If your dog or cat breaks its tooth, there are two treatments: root canal therapy or extraction. You cannot leave the tooth with an exposed nerve. In addition to pain, infection will soon develop that can spread to the rest of your pet's body.


Check out these instructional videos: 

How to Brush Your Cat's Teeth

How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth

Pictures of Bad Teeth

BAD BREATH?

HOW TO BRUSH YOUR CAT'S TEETH

HOW TO BRUSH YOUR DOG'S TEETH