TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Care & Grooming › HELP!!! Dental Cleaning
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

HELP!!! Dental Cleaning

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
so my 6 yr cat is scheduled for a cleaning tomorrow morning...due to tarter and gingivitis. this is new to me. i have grown up around several cats and cat owners and have never heard of this. im kinda worried for this procedure and am wondering how necessary this is?? i am asking bc apparently they will have to put her under. this has absolutely nothing to do w/ the money!!


who has done this or has any information about this procedure??

would you or wouldnt you?

thanks...im having anxiety!! haha.


post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by samanthasmommy
so my 6 yr cat is scheduled for a cleaning tomorrow morning...due to tarter and gingivitis. this is new to me. i have grown up around several cats and cat owners and have never heard of this. im kinda worried for this procedure and am wondering how necessary this is?? i am asking bc apparently they will have to put her under. this has absolutely nothing to do w/ the money!!


who has done this or has any information about this procedure??

would you or wouldnt you?

thanks...im having anxiety!! haha.


Several years ago I asked my vet about getting my cat's teeth cleaned. He's very good and I trust him completely, and my cat absolutely loves him!

Anyway, he told me that the procedure to getting your cat's teeth cleaned is the same as if they are having surgery. The cat is put under general anesthetic just as if they were having surgery. While the cat is under they clean the teeth just like your dentist cleans yours.

As with any surgery that requires general anesthetic, different people and animals react differently. They are groggy and out of it for awhile until it wears off, but they aren't in any pain, or shouldn't be.

When general anesthetic is used, there is always a risk of death be it human or animal.

My vet told me that he tries to disuade people from from having the procedure done for their animals unless it's absolutely positively necessary, because the risks often outweigh the benefits.

Usually hard food is enough to help keep their teeth relatively clean, plus their saliva is somewhat acidic as well which helps.

It's entirely up to you, but does your kitty really need to have it's teeth cleaned or is it something you just feel should be done?

My cat is 14 1/2 years old and she's never had her teeth cleaned and her last vet checkup was good. Other than being fat, she's healthy otherwise and her teeth are in good shape too.
post #3 of 16
Hi and welcome to TCS!

I have had three cats have dentals (Tibby, Molly and my RB kitty, Disco)

The procedure allows for the vet to clean beneath the gumline and remove any calculus build up that is there (causing the gingivitis) They will also be able to see if there are any cavities in the teeth and remove them if necessary.

It really does provide benefits especially where Gingivitis is present.

One thing that I would recommend after the procedure is to get your cat used to regular brushings (with Logic or similar enzymatic toothpaste) at home - this will lessen the chance of having to have subsequent treatments.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by samanthasmommy
so my 6 yr cat is scheduled for a cleaning tomorrow morning...due to tarter and gingivitis ... who has done this or has any information about this procedure??

would you or wouldnt you?

thanks...im having anxiety!!
If your cat has gingivitis, then it is imperative that she receive a thorough dental cleaning and subgingival scraping, no questions asked. Gingivitis is an infection of the gums, evidenced by an angry red area right at the gumline. If not treated appropriately, the bacteria can travel through the bloodstream to affect major organs - in cats, the ones most damaged by this secondary infection are the kidneys and the heart - and if that happens, cats can develop early chronic renal failure or life-threatening heart conditions.

As for the tartar, this nasty buildup can hide painful hip lesions (much like cavities in our own teeth) and should be regularly removed to check for abnormalities in the teeth.

Regarding the question of would I or wouldn't I - I most certainly would and do for my own cats as a regular part of their normal health care.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca
...
As with any surgery that requires general anesthetic, different people and animals react differently. They are groggy and out of it for awhile until it wears off, but they aren't in any pain, or shouldn't be ... When general anesthetic is used, there is always a risk of death be it human or animal.
This risk can be minimized by requesting the use of gas anesthesia such as Isoflurane or Sevoflurane only -- no injectables. These instructions are written in red in big bold letters at the top of all of my cats' charts at my vet's office. I do not allow ketamine to be used AT ALL EVER.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca
... My vet told me that he tries to disuade people from from having the procedure done for their animals unless it's absolutely positively necessary, because the risks often outweigh the benefits.
Can you expand on this, please? How in the world can good oral hygiene be more risky that chancing ECRF or dangerous heart conditions?? I would much, much rather my cats be correctly anesthesized and get a cleaning than do nothing and watch them die slowly of kidney or heart failure!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca
Usually hard food is enough to help keep their teeth relatively clean ...
Actually, this has been found to be inaccurate. Dry food does not help keep a cat's teeth clean any more or less than wet food and in fact, the heavy useage of corn and other grains in dry cat food metabolize into a form of sugar - and when this residue is left on the teeth, can cause major damage quickly. In my house, we limit dry food to a very small serving per day. Additionally, cat's do not chew, per se. They may bite a piece of dry food to make it easier to swallow, but generally, they simply swallow dry food whole. Ever seen a cat toss up his dry food? Notice how intact the pieces actually are and you'll see exactly what I mean.
post #5 of 16
If your vet has recommended a dental I would definitely go ahead with it. My cat had a dental a few months ago and was fine (he's 9). He wasn't even groggy when I brought him home. As gayef says, dental diseases can affect organs too, so it's important not to leave them untreated. Cats hide pain very well, so kitty might be in pain but not showing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef
Dry food does not help keep a cat's teeth clean any more or less than wet food and in fact, the heavy useage of corn and other grains in dry cat food metabolize into a form of sugar - and when this residue is left on the teeth, can cause major damage quickly. In my house, we limit dry food to a very small serving per day. Additionally, cat's do not chew, per se. They may bite a piece of dry food to make it easier to swallow, but generally, they simply swallow dry food whole. Ever seen a cat toss up his dry food? Notice how intact the pieces actually are and you'll see exactly what I mean.
Dry food kibbles just shatter when crunched by the edge of the teeth and do not reach the gumline where most dental diseases form. They won't clean your cats teeth.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca
My vet told me that he tries to disuade people from from having the procedure done for their animals unless it's absolutely positively necessary, because the risks often outweigh the benefits.
That's one of the oddest things I have ever read, and I would go as far as to call it totally unsound advice. If this vet can't do a dental without risking a pets life then you need a different vet.
My vet/s have over the years taken a completely different stance, especially in the last decade.

A dental is preventative maintenance. You do it to keep your cat healthy and to avoid small problems turning into large emergencies. You do it to avoid poisoning your cats system with toxic plaque bacteria. A cats mouth is prone to all manner of debilitating and painful problems that can all be easily prevented by a dental.

And as veterinary medicine advances, screening process have improved as well as monitoring systems used during the procedure.
My veterinarian told me (regarding elderly pets) that as long as he is breathing when you bring him in, he can get him safely through a dental.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef
Actually, this has been found to be inaccurate. Dry food does not help keep a cat's teeth clean any more or less than wet food and in fact, the heavy useage of corn and other grains in dry cat food metabolize into a form of sugar - and when this residue is left on the teeth, can cause major damage quickly. In my house, we limit dry food to a very small serving per day. Additionally, cat's do not chew, per se. They may bite a piece of dry food to make it easier to swallow, but generally, they simply swallow dry food whole. Ever seen a cat toss up his dry food? Notice how intact the pieces actually are and you'll see exactly what I mean.
Agreed! Tibby and Molly were both fed Denta Bits daily, yet both required a dental.

Tibby also throws up his food whole - even Hills Oral!
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cearbhaill
That's one of the oddest things I have ever read, and I would go as far as to call it totally unsound advice. If this vet can't do a dental without risking a pets life then you need a different vet ...
I must agree here.

Quote:
My veterinarian told me (regarding elderly pets) that as long as he is breathing when you bring him in, he can get him safely through a dental.
Oh, how I wish a vet I was seeing with an elderly cat (now at The Bridge) had felt that way ... even though my little geezer-girlie had other health issues, one of the things I most regret was not being able to have her teeth properly cared for. She was so uncomfortable in her final days.
post #9 of 16
As I said it's up to the cat owner. I've only stated what my vet has told me. The risks of putting a cat under general anesthetic outweigh the benefits of cleaning the teeth.

I'm a nurse, I know the risks of general anesthetic and I frequently have to go in and talk to patients of the risks of it, and one of the big ones is death. That's the reason my vet told me that he tries to disuade people from teeth cleaning procedures for their pets unless it's absolutely necessary to have it done. I believe him.

Again, as I said it's entirely up to the cat owner to do what they feel is best for their cats. I personally would never subject my cat to needless surgery unless it was absolutely necessary for them IE: life or death.
post #10 of 16
Natalie, I'm sorry - I honestly do not mean to be contrary here, but for a cat with such a serious and potentially dangerous infection as gingivitis, it literally can be an issue of life or death -- a very slow, painful death in fact. Have you ever known a cat with ECRF? They are in pain and literally nauseated all the time, their quality of life is normally very limited and their days are ruled by sub-q fluids and trips to the litter box -- as a nurse, you must have seen human patients with this condition. Would you risk that in your cats? I think not.

And what about the quality of life issue? Just because your cats have been lucky (yes lucky) that they do not require dental care doesn't mean that others do not have a serious and potentially life-threatening issue in their cats. For a veterinarian to try and dissuade someone from a surgery which can not only allow their cat to be free from an infection which can potentially kill them but which also relieves a very painful condition in their mouth is, IMO, a very valid reason to find a new vet.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca
I've only stated what my vet has told me. The risks of putting a cat under general anesthetic outweigh the benefits of cleaning the teeth.
I'm appalled that a vet would give that advice. Sorry, Natalie - I'm not criticising you, just the advice your vet has given you. There's always a slight risk with any anaesthetics but they are pretty safe these days. There are particular anaesthetics that can be used on older animals and they're not under for long with a dental. Untreated dental disease is a far greater risk to a cat's health than a dental carried out under anaesthetic, imo. Not to mention the pain a cat could be in for years, if dental treatment is avoided.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef
Just because your cats have been lucky (yes lucky) that they do not require dental care doesn't mean that others do not have a serious and potentially life-threatening issue in their cats.
I did say that it's entirely up to the cat owner, didn't I?

My vet told me something and I happen to agree with him. I merely stated my experience, nothing more. It's up to the person whether they want to put their cat through the procedure. I personally do not wish to do that to my cats... not unless it's absolutely necessary in a life or death situation.

Apparently not all vets, just as not all doctors, feel certain treatments are necessary when the risks outweigh the benefits. I respect my vet for saying that and not subjecting my pets to potentially risky procedures just for the sake of making a buck, and lots (not all, but lots) of vets out there play on people's emotions where their animals are concerned and do just that.

My vet told me that if I really wanted to have my cat's teeth cleaned that he would do it, and after telling me his opinion about the procedure, left the decision up to me. I opted to forgo it and trusted my vet's advice and do not regret it.

The original poster asked for experiences and opinions, I stated mine.

EDIT: I'm sorry I even bothered to post in this thread. If my opinion and personal experience is not considered valid here, then please delete my posts in this thread.
post #13 of 16
Natalie, I believe those replying stated they were not questioning you , but rather your vet's advice.

We do respect all experiences and opinions here, and just ask that everyone remains civil, as everyone has done.

I am also surprised by your vet's advice, but if he has examined your cat's teeth, and feels there is not a problem, and you feel comfortable with that, then I guess that is all that matters.

I had a cat with bad teeth, that would get regular cleanings. For her, it was very much a necessary procedure, normally with a few teeth extracted each time. Her relief after each of these procedures was quite apparent as her food intake always went up and she was a much happier cat.
post #14 of 16
I suspect you are talking about preventative dental cleaning, Natalie - where no evidence of disease such as gingivitis is evident. In that scenario, I agree it's up to the owner to decide. But the OP said that her cat had tartar and gingivitis and since she wasn't familiar with dentals I'm assuming her vet had recommended her cat have a dental. That is very different. Her cat may well be in pain and at risk of serious illness.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cearbhaill
My veterinarian told me (regarding elderly pets) that as long as he is breathing when you bring him in, he can get him safely through a dental.
Funny, that reminds me of the stance that most Cardiac Surgeons have today regarding cardiac bypass surgeries on people.

I remember a patient who was 99 years old (close to her 100th birthday)... yes, 99 years old. The woman started to have mild chest pain and the cardiologist did an angiogram and decided that she needed to have bypass surgery to unblock one of the arteries in her heart. Her situation wasn't dire and it wasn't the main artery that was blocked, and her situation could have been managed very well with medication.

The family of course were all gung ho about the procedure after the surgeon talked to them about it alleviating her chest pains whereas medication would only manage it but not get rid of it permanently like surgery would.

However, we nurses knew that because of this woman's age that she wouldn't be able to be "extubated" once the surgery was finished. We subtly and not so subtly told the doctor that what he was doing was inappropriate and that the woman was nearly 100 years old and deserved to live her last days with dignity, not connected to a breathing machine because her lungs failed to work after surgery.

But in the words of the Surgeon, if the heart is viable we fix it. It has nothing to do with the person's age.

As predicted, the woman made it through sugery, but wasn't able to be extubated and breathe on her own again. So she was connected to a ventilator and lived out the rest of her life, a whole 4 days in the surgical intensive care unit.

A woman lost her life, probably earlier than she might have otherwise. A family lost their loved one and got to watch her die while connected to a ventilator. And the doctor made a bunch of money for having performed the surgery... all because the heart was viable.

Yes, her heart surgery turned out quite nicely. Her heart was fixed. A lot of good it did her in the end though.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbysMom
For her, it was very much a necessary procedure, normally with a few teeth extracted each time. Her relief after each of these procedures was quite apparent as her food intake always went up and she was a much happier cat.
In a case such as that, then I'm sure my vet would do teeth cleanings.

It's not that he doesn't do them, but he feels that they should only be done if absolutely necessary rather than subjecting the pet to the trauma of the whole procedure.

I love my cats and would never put them in harms way or jeopardize their health in anyway. My cats are my babies. My having a medical background makes me extra cautious of things because the procedures and tests that animals undergo are either the same or very similar to those of humans, and I know the risks and both expected and unexpected outcomes, and having seen many "unexpected", I'd rather err on the side of caution, and apparently so does my vet, and I appreciate that about him.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Care & Grooming
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Care & Grooming › HELP!!! Dental Cleaning