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Julia’s Weekly Middy Column

Sometimes technology really can be your best friend…

I had a lovely compliment recently. My client mentioned that his cat has never seemed better since we sorted out his mouth problems.

Leo is an older feline friend, and had several rotten teeth. At the practice we had recently invested in some new equipment and were looking for special patients like him to help us learn how to make the best use of it.

When I was at the dentist for a routine check-up some years ago now, my dentist noticed on my records that I had never had a dental x-ray. He advised that I should have one done, even though I am lucky enough to have very healthy teeth, just to check how things were under the gums and to give him something to compare against in the future.

I was very impressed with his technology. The taking of the x-rays only took a few moments, I was barely inconvenienced at all, and a few minutes later enlarged images of my tooth roots were up on his screen for both my dentist and me to analyse.

Well, now I have invested in the same equipment, and it is wonderful! Within just a few moments I am able to make much more informed decisions about the viability of each tooth in Leo’s mouth, and plan extractions or retain a healthy tooth with much more confidence.

At a cost of just a few pounds per x-ray, it is going to revolutionise my mornings – no more agonising over which teeth to extract – and much easier extractions, as I can already see the shape and length of the enemy before battle commences. (Extracting teeth is like a battle for me, but I do it to my very best ability, because pets like Leo deserve a comfortable old age, free of dental pain and the associated diseases that occur as a result of having a mouthful of germs all the time.)

It’s always a careful decision whether to anaesthetise an older cat, and it’s almost always the older cat that needs dentistry. So my team and I have worked over recent times to create the safest and gentlest anaesthetic regimes possible. We screen the health of cats like Leo carefully before making the final decision to operate, but we know it was still an anxious day for Leo’s owner.

And it’s all worth it when I hear a simple remark like – “He’s never been better since you did his op!”

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