Pet Dental Care

Why Veterinary Dentistry is Important

before and after dental cleaning

You may have heard that it is possible to add years to your pet's life with proper dental care. True, but you will also increase his or her health, vitality and wellbeing. In short, proper dental care will help ensure your pet leads the best life possible.

However, if left untreated, dental disease can not only be painful and inhibit proper nutrition, but it can also lead to serious systemic issues that may threaten your pet's health before symptoms are noticeable. For example, oral bacteria that enter the bloodstream can damage your pet's kidneys, heart or liver.

Despite the importance of proper dental care, dental disease is often overlooked by many pet owners across the country. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats develop tooth and gum disease by the age of three years.

Veterinary dental care is an important piece of your dog or cat's preventative health care program. It will not only prevent dental and systemic disease, but in also help minimize the lifetime cost of care for your pet.

The centerpiece of good dental care is a complete oral exam followed by a thorough cleaning. Dental cleanings include ultrasonic scaling followed by polishing and a mouth rinse, the combination of which is designed to remove plaque and slow its buildup.

Should we find any issues, such as evidence of gum or tooth decay, gingivitis, or excessive plaque buildup, we will discuss treatment options with you. We offer a number of dental procedures and oral surgeries. For more complicated or severe cases, we may refer you to a board certified specialist.

We offer:

  • Oral surgeries
  • Prophylaxis
  • Extractions
  • Ultrasonic scaling for cleanings

Home Dental Care

dental careDental care is not something that can be left to periodic visits with us. Because plaque buildup – the primary cause of poor oral health – is a gradual process occurring throughout the life of your pet, it is important to practice good home dental care.

As with people, this means regular tooth brushing and in some cases additional steps may be necessary. Any member of the our staff can show you the proper method for caring for your pet's teeth as well as help you select the most effective dental products for your pet.

You should also be able to recognize the signs of poor oral health. If you notice any of the following you may want to call our hospital:

  • Persistent bad breath – one of the first signs of dental disease
  • Tartar or plaque buildup (ask your veterinarian how to identify these)
  • A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Decreased appetite or difficulty eating
  • Loose or missing teeth