Annual dental exams and cleanings are recommended to protect your pet from many health problems and help them maintain a healthy and clean mouth.
Studies show that 50% of all dogs and cats have some form of periodontal disease. That number jumps to 80% in pets that are 3 years of age or older. If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause infection, pain, and tooth loss over time. It can also lead to serious health problems like microscopic changes in the heart, liver, and kidneys. Because of this, we recommend an annual veterinary dental healthcare examination for all pets.
Many health problems start in the mouth. Plaque, tartar, periodontal disease, and infected teeth serve as a source of inflammation and infection for the rest of the body.
Dental disease is one of the most common problems that we see in dogs and cats. It can cause drooling, reluctance to eat, swelling, bad breath, redness of the gums, loose teeth and tooth discoloration.
Dental issues and dental related diseases can easily be prevented by visiting our veterinarians regularly for dental examinations and cleanings. We take a comprehensive approach to dental care including dental health assessment, treatment, and prevention.
Dog and cat dental cleanings are very similar to human dental cleanings, except that we are required to use anesthesia to properly and safely examine and clean the teeth. After the cleaning, our veterinarians perform a thorough oral exam and check for signs of disease like gum loss, root exposure, or pockets around the root.
Also similar to human dentistry, we do full mouth radiographs (x-rays) of your pet. This allows our veterinarians to be able to evaluate the roots of your pet's teeth as well as any disease or abnormalities that are located below the gum line and not visible on examination alone.
We make every effort to save teeth that we feel have a chance to be successfully treated. In many circumstances, however, periodontal disease is so advanced that treatment without extraction is unsuccessful. We only extract teeth that in the doctor's opinion are beyond saving.
Many teeth require oral surgery to safely remove each individual root. We have extensive training and experience to perform these procedures properly. Pain medications are administered in clinic and provided for in-home aftercare.
Dental care is vital to the overall health of any pet. Dental disease can lead to health issues with the heart, liver, and kidneys and has the potential to seep into your pet’s bloodstream. In fact, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats over three years of age suffer from some form of dental disease, making it the most common pet health issue among our pet population.
Dental cleanings are performed under anesthesia so that we can keep your pet safe during the procedure. This also allows us to do a thorough removal of the plaque and tartar and evaluate your pet’s oral health. We’ll often perform a bit of blood work on your animal before sedation so we know they’re in good shape for the procedure. While they’re under, we carefully monitor their vital signs for any changes. During recovery, we make sure they’re waking up and feeling mostly back to normal before we send them on home with you. If you have any questions about scheduling a dental cleaning, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.
For equine dental care, please check out our Equine Medicine Page.