When a “routine” dental cleaning ends up preventing a broken jaw!
by Dr. Peterson
Many people at Frontier know my cat, Oliver. I’ve had him since before I went to vet school, and I honestly don’t know if I could have made it through those four years of school without him!
Well, I was in my first year of vet school and taking Oliver to my family’s veterinarian (they had seen all of my pets since I was a baby) who recommended he needed a dental cleaning. At this point, I’m still learning anatomy, physiology, and microbiology in school, so I know nothing about dental care yet. He wasn’t showing any signs to me, but my vet looked in his mouth and said he needed it. So we go in to get his teeth cleaned and, like Frontier, they took survey x-rays of all of his roots to look for hidden problems. They called me during his dental to let me know he needed a tooth removed, one of his main lower canine teeth. I was upset, because it’s one of his biggest teeth, but I wish I could show you the x-ray now!
Remember, Oliver wasn’t showing ANY signs and there was NO clue just looking at the tooth in his mouth, but he had a HUGE infection around the root of his lower canine tooth. The infection had eaten away the bone in his jaw, and because cat jaws don’t have much bone to begin with (they are so small!) this was going to lead to a broken jaw eventually had he not come in for that “routine” cleaning. I saved the tooth, and it has a gigantic hole in the root that takes up at least 1/4th of the tooth. I think that moment was the first time I really opened my eyes and realized how important good dental care is for the well being of pets, and of course for my sweet Oliver!
Has your pet had a dental cleaning lately? Call 503-648-1643 or click here to schedule.