Cat Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,945 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When we took Murphy to the vet a couple months ago, the vet said he should have a dental cleaning because he does have a little gingivitis. This was the first time we've seen this vet, so I don't have any gauge on how much, if any, they push unnecessary stuff. I've also never had a cat that needed a dental, so I don't really know what to expect.

Just wondered if you have any experience with vets recommending dentals . . . do you think they tend to push dental services beyond what's really necessary, or would you trust what they're saying and do it? Also, how many dental cleanings would you expect a cat to need in his/her lifetime?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,126 Posts
Depends on the cat. Like people, some have good healthy teeth & others get dental disease easier. Sophie had good teeth and I only think she had a dental done 3 times in a 17+ year lifespan. After the first dental was done, I got yearly "reminders" mailed, but the vet never pushed it.

Before I made the decision on my two, I considered a DLH cat, who was not quite 2 and you could already see plaque on her teeth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,624 Posts
It depends on what the cat is eating. If it's eating raw and crunching on chicken wings, it may not need any dental cleaning for many years. My Devons won't eat raw (I keep trying), but canned (no grain) and a little Evo kibble. They had their first dental cleaning a few months ago at 6 y.o. They had developed some plaque and I didn't want it to get worse and develop into periodontal disease. The dentist said the amount was "moderate". I've also given them for past couple of years "Nature's Dentist" sprinked on their food which is supposed to aid in maintaining their teeth.
Nature's Dentist - Canada - Tartar and Plaque Control

I hope it will be another 5 yrs. before they need another cleaning. Some breeds and some cats are more prone to gingivitis than others, so it may be a shorter time they need to be cleaned. It is very important that the work be done, particularly for older cats, as periodontal disease can infect the valves of the heart, as well as cause disease in other organs.

Periodontal Disease in Cats

Dental Disease (Periodontal Disease, Gingivitis, Stomatitis) by Shawn Messonnier, DVM
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,849 Posts
They are very important but I'd be leery of a vet saying Murphy needs one when it's the first time you've gone to visit them. Dental cleanings cost at least 500 dollars so I bet they'd love if you went every year!

Some cats, like Siamese, need them a lot more often. Other cats may not really need them at all...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,945 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmmmm. I called to ask more questions, and found out they only charge $220 for a cleaning. Is it typical that a dental specialist type, whether a vet or not, does all the dental work? That's what they said.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
My 6 year old cat, Dom and 7 year old cat, Missy had their teeth cleaned for the first time this year. The vet could actually flick the plaque of Missy's teeth so we had it done and went ahead and had Dom's done as well since the vet had a 20% off special that month (it was pet dental month which was February I think). She had never pushed dental before and it was less than 200 for each. My vet even cut a cyst out of Missy's tail while she was asleep and did not charge us extra except for the antibiotic. They both only eat dry food and some tuna.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,945 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Champagne, how did it go? I really hate the idea of him being sedated, so I'm really kind of afraid of the whole thing.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,808 Posts
Hmmmm. I called to ask more questions, and found out they only charge $220 for a cleaning. Is it typical that a dental specialist type, whether a vet or not, does all the dental work? That's what they said.
Dentals start at $395 here. Gigi's estimate is over $500 for next week. $220 - is that awake cleaning? I know some places do that now. Most of the cost is for the anesthesiologist here. Her teeth are pretty bad, which I don't understand because when I brought her in for her "new kitty" check-up a year ago, they were fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,434 Posts
I would say its pretty important. Like others have said, some cats never need them, others are plagued with dental problems. I work for a vet now that has a board certified dentist on staff who does all the dental procedures (its a referral hospital so we see lots of cool stuff like crowns, root canals, etc) We always use anesthesia and NEVER EVER fall for someone trying to see you an "awake" cleaning. They aren't safe or effective. The animal needs to be sedated to do a subgingival scaling which is necessary to actual tooth and gum health. Otherwise they just clean the surface but leave the real problem behind. I would also recommend using a vet clinic that does dental xrays. Teeth can look normal on the surface but be brewing tooth root abseces and other issues below the gumline.
I think the most common dental procedure we do on cats is a full mouth extraction due to severe stomatitis. No one knows why some cats get this disorder and others don't, but it looks like gingivitis, but causes bone loss and severe pain.
Sorry, more info than you asked for. We see lots and lots of teeth at work! LOL!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
893 Posts
If it is really needed, its really important. Just like humans, a bad mouth of teeth can actually cause heart problems. My oldest cat, who is 13, had one done when she was 10. I told the vet at the time if he sensed she was going to need one in the future few years, I would prefer it be done while she was still younger. He agreed. She was showing beginning signs of needed one. She shouldnt need one now as she ages. If she gets a bad tooth it will be pulled. But not necessarily a dental
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,945 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I read a little more about this yesterday, and it does also apply to us humans. If you have gingivitis or another tooth or gum problem, there's bacteria on your teeth and we're breathing in that bacteria every time we breathe through our mouth. The bacteria is ingested and can affect many other aspects of health, including our hearts. So that's why the dentists are always pushing flossing! Who knew.

I just hate the idea of him being stressed and unhappy when I take him in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
760 Posts
None of my cats ever had dental cleanings. None of my cats ever had teeth problems. That's bout all I know!
Cats are the masters of hiding pain and illness and MOST cats do need dental cleanings by the time they are 5 or 6 years old unless you have been brushing their teeth with a good enzymatic veterinary paste, or feeding a raw diet.

Cats may go all their lives without having dentals or showing problems but most of them have problems, the people just don't know it.

To the OP.. untreated dental problems cause kidney failure and heart problems. Get a second opinion if you want, but I would not put off a dental for too long. What happens in the mouth affects the entire body.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,172 Posts
We start at $85 for a cat dental but then again we are a low cost clinic... but they are not awake dentals and they are performed by a tech and a vet working together. I honestly believe dental health is a huge part of a cat's overall health and keeping up on their teeth can extend their life significantly. Dental problems lead to a whole host of other problems, the bacteria in their mouth can enter the blood stream and cause kidney, liver, and heart problems. If you are worried about the anesthesia, get blood work done to ease your mind. If the blood work shows healthy, functioning organs, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about- the vets know what they are doing :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,945 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks. I needed that extra dose of being conscientious about these things. I just hate the idea of stressing him out by taking him there, but what are you gonna do.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
404 Posts
I had to take Round Face in for a constipation problem last month and the vet mentioned he had quite a bit of build up on his molars. So I took him back the next morning to have his teeth cleaned. The cost was $225 and that included anesthesia, pain meds if needed, and the cleaning/polishing. I was able to pick him late that afternoon and he was fine by that evening and very hungry!

His teeth had passed inspection during his previous annual wellness visit but not this time around. I think as our cats get older they need more care, including regular dental care. All four of my older cats have now had dental cleanings but the two youngest ones are okay for now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
Ritz just had her first dental one week ago today; she is less than two years old. Over a year ago, the vet I had then mentioned that Ritz was developing plaque. In February I took Ritz in for a wellness check/rabies shot, and my new vet didn't mention anything. Then in April a vet tech came over to clip Ritz' nails to to brush Ritz' teeth. The vet tech noticed that Ritz had plaque and tarter on the teeth and the beginning of gingivitus. I took Ritz in last week for a "scaling". She had to have blood work before the procedure. Total cost was around $360, and that included anetheisa and (free) flouride treatment and nails clipped. I was surprised that I did NOT have to give Ritz antiobiotics post treatment. (Cleaning teeth can release bateria into the blood; it is the bateria that causes the redness around the gums.) I have pet insurance; it will be interesting to see how much insurance will reimburse me.
I think the reason Ritz has dental problems at such a young age is because her diet was really poor the first six months of her life (semi-feral when rescued in December 2009). Inbreding could also be a cause, as well as pure bad luck and genetics.
I've read that bad teeth can/will affect the entire system, especially the heart (same bateria can affect the heart). Which is why I'll probably take Ritz to the vets every six month for a dental checkup. I'm a chicken when trying to clean her teeth; I still can't pick her up. (That said, she's a lap cat, bed cat, and love bug.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Champagne, how did it go? I really hate the idea of him being sedated, so I'm really kind of afraid of the whole thing.
It went great for both of them. Dropped them off in the AM and picked them up around 2, Missy was a little groggy and it was kind of cute watching her stumble a little but both were great. She did have them take antibiotic for 5 days just as a precaution.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
Pixel is going in to get his teeth scaled soon. Got the antibiotics for him today. He is in his teens & vet doesn't want to sedate him. Pixel is a pretty laid back guy so MAYBE the vet won't need medical care. I would not want to be the one doing it.
That makes 4 done with their shots & check up for this year. 2 more to go -PuddyWoW and Tufty. I hate taking those 2 - they are both way too interested in exploring everything but getting checked out.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top