Veterinary Dental Cleanings-The Importance Of Managing Oral Health

Dec 18, 2015


More often than not, when pet owners focus attention upon the health of their animal, oral health is not what first comes to mind. Nevertheless, this does not change the startling fact that almost 80 percent of cats and dogs over the age of three suffer from periodontal disease to some degree. Untreated, this condition allows bacteria to eventually spread among larger organs throughout the body, resulting in critical problems that pose serious threats to the overall health and happiness of pets. Proven to be more economical and far easier to prevent rather than treat later on, periodontal disease is an affliction that can be managed through regular dental cleanings by veterinary professionals. 

Danielle Heberle, a Dental Clinical Manager for Midmark Animal Health, can personally  attest to this course of action and its positive impact upon the wellbeing of her beloved twelve-year-old Chihuahua, Rerun. “Rerun has always been very healthy. However, he is a plaque builder and suffers from very red and angry gums that accumulate stinky tartar. At times you can tell the problem agitates him. Yet, I’m always amazed to observe how much his demeanor changes after dental procedures. He walks around with his chest puffed out and tries to kiss everyone in the attempt of showing off his good breath. He becomes far more confident and affectionate because he feels better all around, and so do I.”

Rerun has been getting anesthetic dentistry procedures twice yearly for the past five years. According to the standards his veterinary dentist, Dr. Brett Beckman, Rerun’s teeth are in great condition and have no need for oral surgery.  As a result, Danielle has become recommitted to brushing his teeth on a regular basis. “I always think of Dr. Charlier’s association: if we can train a tiger to jump through a ring of fire, we can train our pets to allow us to brush their teeth. Sometimes I think it would be easier to train Rerun to jump through fire, but taking care of his teeth is obviously far better for him!”

Undoubtedly, Danielle’s career with Midmark has been a significant motivator towards providing better animal health care. As a Certified Veterinary Technician since 1995, Danielle has performed countless anesthetic dentistry cleanings on canine and feline patients.  Although exceptionally capable within her profession, it wasn’t until Danielle changed careers and began specializing in selling dentistry equipment, that she discovered she had not been doing as well of a job as she had initially thought.

“I could have been causing pain to my patients.  But thankfully, I have had the honor to work with some of the best Board Certified Veterinary Dentists and Technician Specialists during the many wet labs and educational events we have sponsored. It is here that I have learned the proper way of performing dentistry procedures. Periodontal disease can have a large impact upon a pet, so if it progresses then don’t wait. You may not notice the difference in your pet’s behavior as I did, but this does not mean their mouth doesn’t HURT. The doggy breath you think is normal is not normal. It’s a sign of a worsening condition.”

Considering herself fortunate to work for a company that believes in education and training just as much as it does in sales, Danielle continues providing Rerun with the very best in oral health care. Additionally, she further educates others like herself, who may be unconsciously overestimating the effectiveness of their efforts.  As Danielle puts it, “After all the joy our animals bring to us, we owe it to them to give the best we can.”

Dr. Cindy Charlier, owner of Fox Valley Veterinary Dentistry & Surgery, is a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College and a member of the American Veterinary Dental Society. Dr. Charlier trained the clinics that were a part of the Midmark Dentistry Study, providing a framework for extraordinary success among resulting workshops. See below her advice on pet dental care at home. To find a veterinary dental specialist within your local area, please visit The AVDC Veterinary Dentist Directory lists practitioners who are board certified to treat all species.