Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gingivectomy: $1400. Bright, Healthy Smile: PRICELESS

Cassius brushes inconsistently, he doesn't floss, and he's a boxer. Three strikes against my little guy when it comes to dental care. Oh, and the fourth being that some of his old meds (Atopica) cause gum swelling. As you can see from the picture, my gorgeous little buddy has an ugly problem: gum disease. To be specific, he has gingival hyperplasia.

It looks like we only have one option, and that is a gingivectomy, a minor surgical procedure to remove the gingival tissue (what I call gums). That's right, my baby is going under the knife for the first time in his life.

The dentist assures me they do this all of the time, especially with boxers and that the anesthesia they use is very safe. Both my husbad and I are very anxious when it comes to general anesthesia. He had a near-death experience himself, and I know we've lost some zoo animals (I'm a docent at the SF Zoo) due to anesthesia complications. OK, I get anesthesizing a giraffe is probably more complex than a dog, but hey, I'm allowed to be nervous, right?

Poor Cassius. Looks like he takes after his mom in that he's high-maintenance where teeth are concerned. I started seeing an orthodontist at the ripe age of 7 and continued for the next 8 years. Anywho, the gingivectomy is going to run us about $1400.00. Looks like the pet insurance was a good idea after all! We should be covered for up to 80%. A wee slice of good news.
We'll be brushing his teeth daily from now on. It's actually kind of fun, and Cassius likes the chicken flavored toothpaste (apparently, he doesn't take after me in all ways, I prefer the peanut butter flavored paste).