Category Archives: Dental health

The Top 5 Reasons Kingsbrook Animal Hospital Is The Best At Cleaning Teeth

February is National Pet Dental Health month, and many veterinary clinics see an increase in the number of dental cleanings and procedures scheduled.  While virtually every veterinarian offers oral cleanings for their patients, all cleanings are not created equal. The staff at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD is excited to take a few minutes to share with all pet owners the Top 5 reasons that KAH is the best place to have an oral cleaning and evaluation!

1. We check pre-anesthetic bloodwork on all patients before any anesthetic procedure. This alerts the veterinarian to any issues with the patient’s liver, kidneys, hydration status, and oxygen-carrying ability of the blood. All of these factors are important to consider, especially because…

2. Our licensed technicians and veterinarians work together to custom-tailor the anesthesia for each patient. Rather than practice “cookie-cutter” medicine where each patient is treated the same, our staff considers every pet an individual. Certain drugs are included or avoided based on what is best for each particular

KAH technician Nora performs an oral cleaning, using the same instruments a human dentist uses.


3. All anesthesia patients are monitored 100% of the time by a licensed veterinary technician, who uses state-of-the-art anesthetic monitoring equipment as backup. From the minute a pet is sedated until recovery is complete, he or she is in the company of an experienced and educated professional whose first priority is patient safety.

Nora reviews the dental radiographs taken on her patient. This is vital information that helps the technicians and doctors make decisions about a pet’s oral health.

4. We include full-mouth digital dental x-rays with every cleaning. This important step allows the veterinarian to see above/below the pet’s gumlines at each tooth’s root.  Issues such as tooth root abscesses, retained root tips, and resorptive lesions would not be identified without these x-rays, meaning that in spite of

KAH patient Daisy’s mom proudly displays her OraVet home care kit. This is one of the many options we offer to help with home dental care!

everyone’s best intentions the patient may continue to have problems after a cleaning done without x-rays.

5. After the cleaning, our technicians and veterinarians will work with pet owners to find an oral home care regimen that will work for that patient. This will help extend the time between cleanings and set pets up for better periodontal health for the rest of their lives.

Routine dentistry is the WAY TO GO!

Staying on top of your pets oral health has many benefits to your pet as well as your pocket book. There are a variety of things you can do at home to maximize your pets oral health. You always have to consider that both dogs and cats have genetic influences and breed predispositions that effect the degree of dental disease they deal with. Some animals can be much more challenging to keep healthy than others. The number one thing any pet owner can do for any variety of dog or cat is brush their teeth daily or at minimum 3 times a week. This has all the same benefits it does for us as humans. Other things done at home are to provide dental diets, appropriate chew treats that promote plaque and tartar reduction, and oral rinses that minimize the bacterial load in the mouth that precursors plaque formation.

If needed, getting your pets teeth professionally cleaned by your veterinarian before there is significant dental disease and even teeth that require removal is ideal. It is much cheaper to perform a ROUTINE DENTISTRY than it is to address a mouth with progressive dental disease that includes severe tartar, gum recession, root exposure and even infected or fractured teeth that need to be extracted. It is also important to consider the systemic effects progressive dental disease has on your pets heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. Ultimately we all have a common goal of maintaining our pets comfort and quality of life and diseased teeth are not comfortable.

The veterinary technicians at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital will always be glad to help you grade the progression of dental disease in your pet and help you come up with a plan for maximizing their health. Feel free to call Ranee, Sara, Stacey, Melissa, Jen or Nora any time at 301-631-6900. We can even set up a no cost tech appointment to look at your pets teeth and make suggestions.

Pet Dental Health Month

STEP 1: Take your pet to the veterinarian for a dental exam. Don’t wait for his annual checkup if you suspect a problem.

STEP 2: Begin a dental care regimen at home. Your veterinarian can suggest steps that may include brushing your pet’s teeth. One of the most convenient and effective ways to combat oral disease is feeding specially formulated foods proven effective in combating plaque and tartar buildup. The Seal of Acceptance from the Veterinary Oral Health Council, an organization initiated by the American Veterinary Dental Society to guide consumers, appears on products that meet defined standards for plaque and tartar control in dogs and cats. For further information on the VOHC or their product standards, visit

STEP 3: Schedule regular veterinary checkups. These are essential in helping your veterinarian monitor the progress of your pet’s dental health routine. Your veterinary health care team can help you schedule the appropriate visits.

My Pearly Whites!

My name is Tickle and I am a 13 year old maltese dog.  I recently had my semi-annual exam at Kingsbrook and when Dr. Cook and technicians examined my teeth, they were very impressed!  They said I have the most beautifully clean teeth and no signs of any gum disease!

I owe my pearly whites and healthy gums to my Mommy.  She has been so diligent at brushing my teeth every day since my last dental cleaning.  Previously, I have needed to go under anesthesia every year because of my periodontal disease but because my Mommy has been so good at caring for my teeth at home, this year I don’t have too!  Thank you Mommy for taking such good care of me.

What my Dental X-Ray Revealed that the vet couldn’t see just by looking in my mouth!

Hi!  My name is Molly.  I am a very sweet 5 year old Chihuahua.  I recently came to the hospital for my routine checkup and Dr. Cook said I should have my teeth cleaned because there was a notable amount of tartar on my teeth and my gums were red and inflamed.  Dr. Cook said that by getting my teeth cleaned and following up with home dental care, such as a special dental diet, brushing and chewable treats, I could ward off progressive dental disease that could eventually cause problems with my heart, kidneys and liver.  

Once I was under anesthesia at the hospital for my dental cleaning, my technician, Nora,  told Dr. Cook that I had a couple of loose molars.  He took some digital dental X-rays and found something very interesting.  In addition to the loose molars, there were two pre-molars that looked perfectly normal to the naked eye, but the X-rays showed that the roots below the gum line were completely cracked!  Ouch!   Dr. Cook extracted the fractured teeth (and the loose teeth, too).  I felt much better the very next day!  Thanks Dr. Cook!

It has been documented that approximately 40% of cats and 24% of dogs have lesions under the gum line that can only be detected by the use of X-rays.  Please feel free to ask any of our technical staff if you have any questions about your pet’s dental health!