It is often said that cats are not small dogs. It is equally important to realize that cats have not read the textbooks when it comes to dental problems. Feline dental problems can be very similar and very different from canine dental problems.
For small pets, such as most domestic rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, and hedgehogs (the exceptions being ferrets and large rabbits), intubation is generally not an option given the equipment available at most veterinary hospital.
Pain management is more than the latest popular terminology. It is an important part of veterinary dentistry. Many of the procedures performed on animals are painful and it is our duty as technicians to ensure that our patients are as comfortable as possible.
It is important to be able to identify oral pathology and anomalies. It is equally important to correctly record the pathology on dental charts. A thorough dental examination includes both conscious and anesthetized examinations as well as charting disease processes, pathology and anomalies, and treatment plans.
The indices most commonly evaluated are gingivitis, probe depth, gingival recession, furcation involvement, mobility and periodontal attachment. These indices are the factors along with radiographs that are involved in grading periodontal disease.
Oral disease is one of the most prevalent diseases in dogs and cats. 80% of adult dogs and 70% of adult cats have some form of oral disease. Dental problems are among the top three pet owners concerns in dogs and cats. Calculus and gingivitis are the most common conditions diagnosed by veterinarians in all ages of animals.