Veterinary Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Dental Care for Your Dog & Cat
Savvy pet owners know that keeping pets healthy is the ideal approach to quality care: safer, more effective, less painful, and cost effective. Together with our pet owners, we take a three-point approach to dental care for the optimum outcome:
- Cleaning & Treatment
- Home Maintenance
This comprehensive plan supports long-term health, early identification of medical concerns, and enhances the human–animal bond.
Assessment begins at the wellness exam. We evaluate the oral health of each patient during the physical exam. At that time, we determine if teeth cleaning or other dental treatment is necessary.
We may order diagnostic lab work. Laboratory testing is called for when infections or disease are suspected and to assess risk prior to our patient receiving anesthesia for a dental procedure.
Teeth Cleaning & Dental Treatment
All patients are given anesthesia for comprehensive dental exams, teeth cleaning, and treatment for problems such as tooth fractures, root abscesses, malformations, and gum disease. Anesthesia is used during this process for the safety and comfort of our patients and to allow a complete assessment of the teeth and gums. It is simply not possible to do this thoroughly without anesthesia. Our anesthesia protocols for all dental procedures are the same as for any surgery.
Full-mouth X-rays for every patient are highly recommended. Pets can have significant, potentially painful disease at the level of the root, and many times there is no hint of this from the physical exam. Dental X-rays allow us to see what is happening below the gum line, determine whether teeth are diseased enough to require extraction, and provide pinpoint accuracy in treating problem areas. Our digital X-ray system allows us to obtain excellent quality images very rapidly, so anesthesia time is minimized.
Teeth cleaning is performed with tools similar to human dentists, for effective removal of tartar and plaque above and below the gum line. Teeth are then polished to remove any scratches in the enamel. For some types of gum disease, a therapeutic laser can be used to help in the healing process and with the pain associated with stomatitis, a severe form of gum disease.
Learn more about our Class IV therapeutic laser.
Pet Dental Care & Home Maintenance
After a deep cleaning, maintaining the teeth is most effective if brushing is included in the daily grooming routine. Most pets are willing to tolerate daily teeth cleaning, and many enjoy it as a happy bonding time.
We are happy to instruct you in performing this simple task, as well as make recommendations for safe dental care products for your pets. You may also enjoy these online resources:
- The Feline Health Center at Cornell University video program, Brushing your Cat's Teeth.
- A video demonstration from the American Veterinary Medical Association, How To Brush Your Pet’s Teeth, and a comprehensive guide from WebMD Pet Health, Ten Steps to Cat Dental Health.
Contact our hospital to schedule a dental assessment for your special pet.