Pet Dental Care

We recommend having your pet’s teeth checked and cleaned at least 

ONCE A YEAR.

Dental care is an important and often overlooked factor in keeping your pet healthy and happy. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by three years of age. Consistent home dental care and routine professional examinations can help prevent problems like bad breath or oral infections.

We provide complete dental care for both dogs and cats. Pets are silent sufferers. For this reason, many pet owners do not initially notice at home or report any signs of dental pain to their veterinarians. However many pet owners, after professional veterinary dental care surprisingly and pleasantly report their pets are obviously more comfortable, have increased appetite, and are more active after dental care.

SIGNS YOUR PET NEEDS DENTAL CARE

There are many different ways to check and see if your pet may be having dental issues, but there are also signs that may not be as visible. This is why veterinarians recommend having your pet’s teeth checked annually. Here are some things to keep an eye (or nose) out for:

Bad breath

Broken, loose, or missing teeth

Discoloration or tartar build up

Excessive chewing or drooling

Reduced appetite or inability to chew

Swelling and bleeding in or around the mouth

Common Pet Dental Care Questions

We have all the capabilities that your own dentist has, so we can thoroughly clean your pet’s teeth. A high-speed ultrasonic water scaler is used to remove all tartar and clean below the gum line. Then a polish is applied to the teeth, and finally a fluoride treatment to help desensitize any exposed dentin, inhibit plaque formation, and strengthen tooth enamel.

Dental radiology (i.e., dental x-rays) is an essential tool in both humans and pets to complete the dental assessment and generate an acceptable therapeutic plan.

Digital dental X-rays will be taken if needed to help the doctor see the health of the teeth below the gum line and therefore identify the diseased teeth so they know which need to be extracted. Whatever disease you see above the gum line is also happening and progressing below the gum line. The real problem occurs when the bacteria in plaque and tartar spread below the gum line in pockets.

These bacteria plus the toxins they produce to break down bone and supporting tissue that holds the teeth in place. Because this isn’t visible, the effects of periodontal disease can go undetected while your pet’s health is slowly compromised. By removing this tooth or teeth we can help decrease your pet’s pain and minimize the risks associated with periodontal diseases, such as tooth root abscess and nasal infection. Periodontal disease has also been linked to many systemic disease problems, including kidney, liver, and heart disease.

STEP 1: SUPRAGINGIVAL CLEANING

The tartar and plaque that is visible above the gum line is removed so that all surfaces of each tooth may be visualized.

STEP 2: SUBGINGIVAL CLEANING

This is cleaning the area under the gum line. In our animal patients, this is the most important step. The subgingival plaque and calculus is what causes periodontal disease. This is the most common ailment diagnosed in ALL animal patients. Cleaning the tooth surface above the gum line will make the teeth look nice, but in reality does little medically for the patient.

STEP 3: ASSESSMENT

The veterinarian evaluates the entire oral cavity and records any abnormalities on a special dental record. Some examples of oral abnormalities are: tongue or lip lesions, deep pockets in the gums around the teeth and loose, broken or discolored teeth.

STEP 4: ADVANCED DENTAL IMAGING

Advanced Dental Imaging is taken of every tooth in the mouth to discover problems, such as retained roots, enamel defects, root abscesses and bone loss due to infection.

STEP 5: POLISHING

The mechanical removal of the plaque and calculus causes microscopic roughening of the tooth surface. This roughening increases the retentive ability of the tooth for plaque and calculus. Polishing will smooth the surface and decrease the adhesive ability of plaque.

STEP 6: SUB-GINGIVAL LAVAGE

The scaling and polishing of the teeth will cause a lot of debris to become trapped under the gums. This will cause local inflammation, as well as increase the chance of future periodontal disease. For this reason, we gently flush the gingiva with an antibacterial solution.

STEP 7: FLUORIDE TREATMENT

The benefit of fluoride is that it strengthens enamel, decreases tooth sensitivity and is reported to slow the formation of Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions thanks to its anti-plaque qualities. Fluoride can be toxic if swallowed by dogs and cats; therefore, we carefully remove any excess fluoride from the mouth before waking your pet.

STEP 8: TREATMENTS

If any abnormalities were found during the assessment and Dental Advanced Imaging, various treatments may be recommended. Some examples of treatments are: tooth extraction, bonded sealants of fractures and local antibiotic treatment of pockets around the teeth. The veterinarian will explain any abnormalities and discuss treatment options. We are happy to provide an estimate at each stage of this procedure.

STEP 9: PREVENTION

Prevention is one of the most important parts of the oral hygiene procedure.

If any extractions are performed, we will always use pain management injections or local nerve anesthetic blocks and send the owner’s home with some pain medication to have if their pet seems painful.

Our pets have a strong natural instinct to hide pain, so this can be difficult to recognize. Many times they will mask the pain and owners may not even notice a difference in their pet’s eating or day-to-day routines. This is why our pets will continue eating, even if their teeth look or smell bad. Some lesser known indications of pain include increased licking, altered or heavy breathing, changes in posture, and changes in sleep habits.

Get the best care for your best friend.

Call us or request an appointment online