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Dental Cleanings?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Well I was doing my monthly (Ok it doesn't happen every month but I try) toothbrushing fest on my kitties. I noticed that Isaac, who will be 2 on the 26th, already has some plaque build up on his teeth. They look like they aren't in that great of shape already. So I'm trying to get information on dental cleaning because I'm sure when he sees the vet in August she's going to suggest it for him. I worry about the procedure. I've never had a cat that needed a dental cleaning. So any info would be appreciated.
post #2 of 24
Jamie has had to have his teeth cleaned twice (spaced three years apart). He had to be "sober", meaning no food after 10 p.m., because of the anesthesia. I dropped him off at 7 a.m., and was able to pick him up around 1 or 2 p.m.. He wasn't even groggy by that point, and was "starving to death".

You're probably worried about the anesthesia, but the alternative is far worse. Our last cat, an 8-year-old feral when we took him in, had horrible abscesses in his gums. Half of his teeth had to be removed, we had to inject antibiotics for about three weeks (he couldn't be "handled", so that meant injecting him through the bars of a carrier; we fed him in a small carrier, as that was the only way to get him to the vets', give medicine, etc.), and he had heart damage due to the paradontosis. His heart failed when he was 14.
post #3 of 24
My Molly had the teeth cleaning done twice, with no problems. They also extracted a few teeth each time. She definitely benefited from each procedure.
post #4 of 24
My Tibby had a descale and polish on Friday. He also had to have two bottom molars extracted.

We had our post op check-up yesterday and he has swolen gums around the bone where one tooth was removed. He's almost at the end of his antibiotics and we have scheduled another appointment for Thursday to evaluate if he requires a further course of antibiotics.

Getting a dental clean is much better than leaving it, as sever gingivitis can occur and this is a very difficult thing to treat.
post #5 of 24
I work at a veterinary clinic. I actually got to watch when my Pomeranian got her first dental last year. First they scale the teeth with an ultrasonic scaler, then they polish them and at the end they apply fluoride. If you have your pet's teeth cleaned now when the tartar is minimal the dental will be much quicker and easier. My Pom didn't have do be under anesthesia for long and also didn't need any extractions. When people wait too long to bring their pets in for dentals they end up losing a lot of teeth because the condition of their teeth and gums has gotten really bad. Severe gingivitis can even damage the heart and kidneys.
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I just get so nervous any time anesthesia is involved. I know it's going to be expensive, but I could care less about that. I'll figure out a way to pay for it, I just don't want anything bad to happen to my baby. I'm also curious because he's only 2. Isn't that a little young to have bad teeth? I've had him since he was 3 months old & he eats the same thing as my others. I've just never had a cat with tarter build up like this. My Smokey had good teeth until the last 6 months of her life.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmy4cats
I work at a veterinary clinic. I actually got to watch when my Pomeranian got her first dental last year. First they scale the teeth with an ultrasonic scaler, then they polish them and at the end they apply fluoride. If you have your pet's teeth cleaned now when the tartar is minimal the dental will be much quicker and easier. My Pom didn't have do be under anesthesia for long and also didn't need any extractions. When people wait too long to bring their pets in for dentals they end up losing a lot of teeth because the condition of their teeth and gums has gotten really bad. Severe gingivitis can even damage the heart and kidneys.
Since you work in a vet clinic what do your vets recommend for helping to keep the teeth clean - dry or canned food. I know brushing is the best and I try to brush my cat's teeth 3x a week.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rang_27
Thanks guys. I just get so nervous any time anesthesia is involved. I know it's going to be expensive, but I could care less about that. I'll figure out a way to pay for it, I just don't want anything bad to happen to my baby. I'm also curious because he's only 2. Isn't that a little young to have bad teeth? I've had him since he was 3 months old & he eats the same thing as my others. I've just never had a cat with tarter build up like this. My Smokey had good teeth until the last 6 months of her life.

First of all, I have to agree with Sar, it is awful to try to treat gingivitis. Had our vet been willing to do a dental cleaning on Twitch when we first noticed her teeth were bad, she might have a few teeth. I say a few teeth because most of her teeth were so bad that the vet who did the dental surgery on her said that they should have came out when she was a kitten.

I will tell you what I learned through Twitch's dental visits. Twitch had bad teeth when she was 1 year old. That is very rare. Isaac only has some plaque build-up & from what I understand, it does happen. Isaac might be the cat who has worse teeth. You will just have to watch him a little more closely. In some cases(like Twitch's), there is nothing that you can do to prevent in the inevitable. Twitch would have had to loose all of her teeth someday. Isaac will more than likely need his teeth cleaned, whether this year or 3 years from now & again later in life.

That's about all I have to ramble on about.
post #9 of 24
One of my cats, Noelle, had a dental cleaning about a month after I got her. In the inital vet visit, they said she'd need one, but to wait a month so that she could get adjusted to her new home. And let me tell you, what a difference it made. In that month beforehand, she was sweet and lovable, but afterwards, she was 1000 times more so. Her teeth were in such bad condition that not only did they have to clean them, but they ended up pulling 6 or 7 more (she was already missing some in the first place). I can't imagine how much her little mouth must have hurt.

As far as the cost - it depends on your vet. Noelle cost about $300, but I assume that was because of the severity of her condition. My vet said that Noelle, as an individual, had worse teeth than normal and would need constant care for her teeth thru her life.
post #10 of 24
$300 sounds awfully high. My bills for dental cleanings usually run no more than about $80, including anesthesia and antibiotics, a bit higher if teeth have to be extracted. That's the average for various cats taken to different vets (I do "vet runs" for the local shelter).
post #11 of 24
Our clinic charges $150 for dentals (extractions would be a little extra). Most of the cost of doing a dental is in the anesthesia. If a pet were coming in for another surgical procedure (and was already under anesthesia) the dental would only cost $40. The Dr. at our clinic recommends dry food only to keep they're teeth in good condition. I, however, don't agree so I do offer my four cats a small amount of canned food twice a day. They get measured amounts of dry each day too. One of my cats hates canned food, but the other three do eat it most of the time. I like to offer them wet because I just don't think cats drink enough water. I also buy my cats dental treats from the clinic where I work. They're called "CET" treats. They're fish flavored treats that are coated with an enzyme that helps remove plaque from their teeth. They are quite expensive, but my cats love them. I really don't brush my cat's teeth (even though I know I should) because they will not allow it. It's a big enough battle just brushing them and keeping their nails trimmed!
post #12 of 24
jcat :
I just went over the bill from way back then - yeah, I'm weired, I kept the itemized print out - and I was off. It was $318, but there were a few other things in there as well, such as a fecal, and tests for FeLK and FIV. However, that only took it down to about $250. Other costs were figured in were for 6 extractions, 3 varnishes, after care medication & antibiotics, hospitalization, and a pre-anesthesia panel to make sure she would be ok under anesthesia.

But like I said before, I would assume that a rountine cleaning would be a lot less money. Noelle's teeth are just really bad and I think she'll have to have another cleaning soon.
post #13 of 24
Lucy went in for her cleaning last Friday and it was $225 for the anethesia and dental. She is about 2 1/2 years old and it was considered severe. I believe it is much better to do regular cleanings because gum disease can cause so many more problems like heart problems.

My vet says that genetics also affect this. I had a cat who didn't need a teeth cleaning until she was 13 years old. She just didn't have a problem. The others, not so lucky.
post #14 of 24
<<My vet says that genetics also affect this. I had a cat who didn't need a teeth cleaning until she was 13 years old. She just didn't have a problem. The others, not so lucky.>>

That's what my vet said. When I got Noelle back in December 2003, the humane society said she was probably about 6-7 years old. She was a stray and because they had no idea of her history, they aged her by her teeth. However, due to her normal everyday behavior, and the severity of the dental problem, my vet said she was probably about 3-4 years old at that time and said genetics was probably the main factor with her teeth.

The other cat I had at the time, by contrast, only had 2 dentals in his entire 18 years.
post #15 of 24
Yes, it can be genetic!

Many cats can go through life without a single tooth clean, yet others are affected from an early age! It is much, much better to deal with it early and prevent the terrible effects that Gingivitis has!

Although it's an expensive procedure, it is very worth it! Costs of a cat with Gingivitis escalate incredibly and they suffer terribly
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmy4cats
Our clinic charges $150 for dentals (extractions would be a little extra). Most of the cost of doing a dental is in the anesthesia. If a pet were coming in for another surgical procedure (and was already under anesthesia) the dental would only cost $40. The Dr. at our clinic recommends dry food only to keep they're teeth in good condition. I, however, don't agree so I do offer my four cats a small amount of canned food twice a day. They get measured amounts of dry each day too. One of my cats hates canned food, but the other three do eat it most of the time. I like to offer them wet because I just don't think cats drink enough water. I also buy my cats dental treats from the clinic where I work. They're called "CET" treats. They're fish flavored treats that are coated with an enzyme that helps remove plaque from their teeth. They are quite expensive, but my cats love them. I really don't brush my cat's teeth (even though I know I should) because they will not allow it. It's a big enough battle just brushing them and keeping their nails trimmed!

I agree that cats don't drink a lot of water. You said you give your cats a small amount of canned. How much per cat(s)?
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmy4cats
They're called "CET" treats. They're fish flavored treats that are coated with an enzyme that helps remove plaque from their teeth. They are quite expensive, but my cats love them. I really don't brush my cat's teeth (even though I know I should) because they will not allow it. It's a big enough battle just brushing them and keeping their nails trimmed!
Do you think most vet offices have the CET trats? I would be willing to buy them if they would help. I try to brush teeth once a month. Jordan would probably let me brush them every day if I had the time. He's strange, LOVES to have his teeth brushed. Everyone else struggles & HATES it. Claw clipping is easy on everyone but Jordan; however, since I do claws once a week they are used to it.
post #18 of 24
I'm certainly no expert, but I can't help but wonder if any of those "so-called" tarter controls work. For instance the cat would bite into a treat and it would be broken by the tip of the cat's tooth and then the cat swallows it (cats don't chew that I am aware of). The tarter control treat would probably never even see the root of the teeth!

IMHO, these are gimmicks and the very best thing you can do is try as much as you can to clean/brush the cat's teeth. When our kits are all sleepy and comfortable we use a very soft rubber "toothbrush" that fits over your finger to clean their teeth.
post #19 of 24
I split a 5.5 ounce can twice a day between my three cats that will eat canned food. One of my cats won't touch any type of canned food.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
I'm certainly no expert, but I can't help but wonder if any of those "so-called" tarter controls work. For instance the cat would bite into a treat and it would be broken by the tip of the cat's tooth and then the cat swallows it (cats don't chew that I am aware of). The tarter control treat would probably never even see the root of the teeth!

IMHO, these are gimmicks and the very best thing you can do is try as much as you can to clean/brush the cat's teeth. When our kits are all sleepy and comfortable we use a very soft rubber "toothbrush" that fits over your finger to clean their teeth.


I have to thoroughly agree with you! My cats have had tartar control treats for their whole lives and Tibby and Molly have had to have extractions. Sad thing is that one of the vets at our surgery highly recommends them
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sar


Sad thing is that one of the vets at our surgery highly recommends them
He probably gets them free from his supplier and since most vets don't know a whole lot about nutrition/food stuffs, he probably thinks he's giving good advice.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
He probably gets them free from his supplier and since most vets don't know a whole lot about nutrition/food stuffs, he probably thinks he's giving good advice.
True, I didn't think of that! Thank goodness our regular vet is a lot more knowledgeable about nutrition!
post #23 of 24
Just to make you guys feel better about the deal you are getting. Here in Canada we pay WAY more. If your animals are old the prices are super high for monitoring and blood tests.

Trout my 13 year old was done last summer. No extractions $500.00
Zipper my 17 year old was done two years ago. A few extractions $700.00

No joke it's enough to make you twitch.
post #24 of 24
At 12 years old, Punkin had his first professional dental cleaning and all went well. I recommend you have it done so you don't run into what we did after waiting FAR to long to do it!
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