Some introductory thoughts

In recent years, awareness of the importance of oral and especially dental diseases in cats and dogs has only developed in Swiss veterinary practices. It can still be described as rather modest compared to Anglo-Saxon or Scandinavian countries.

"My pet eats well... " is a sentence we often hear, which unfortunately wrongly equates normal eating behavior with good oral health. This is a serious mistake, as eating in our pets is primarily instinct-driven, which means that it is only in extreme cases of pain in the mouth that the owner notices a noticeable restriction in eating behavior.

For this reason, many long-time dog and cat owners in this country still understand "teeth cleaning" as the manual scraping of tartar during vaccination or, at best, removing visible tartar using ultrasound under anesthesia. Also, the chosen procedure for a "tooth problem" often does not go beyond "wait until it falls out itself" or pulling the affected tooth. Effective, tooth-preserving therapeutic measures such as periodontal/root canal treatment, vital pulp therapy, restoration or correction of misaligned teeth are still more the exception than the rule, which is quite understandable as they require considerable specialist knowledge and skills as well as highly specialized, expensive dental equipment.

When is a dental disease an emergency?