dog brushing teeth

Oral hygiene and regular dental cleaning is essential for the health of your pet, particularly in dogs and cats whose teeth are not brushed on a regular basis. A comprehensive dental exam is a component of every wellness visit, as lack of attention to your pet’s teeth can lead to gingivitis, periodontitis, bone infections, dental abscesses, tooth loss and other systemic infections.

Signs that your pet may have dental health issues include:

  • Bad breath

  • Loose, missing, or broken teeth

  • Gums that are swollen or bleeding

  • Tartar and plaque buildup on molars or other teeth

  • Excessive drooling

  • Loss of appetite

All our patients are required to have a physical examination and pre-anesthetic blood testing. Dental procedures and cleanings are performed while your pet is under general anesthesia, where they are maintained on intravenous fluids and vital signs are continually monitored during and after the procedure.

Tartar and plaque are removed from your pet’s teeth using an ultrasonic and hand scaling above and below the gumline. The veterinarian then performs a comprehensive oral examination, assessing the condition of the tooth enamel and using a probe to evaluate for pockets below the gumline. Digital dental x-rays are recommended to complete the oral health evaluation. Finally, your pet’s teeth are polished and rinsed to create a lustrous tooth surface more resistant to tartar buildup.

After treatment, a Certified Veterinary Technician will review the procedure with you, share ‘before and after’ photographs, and discuss oral hygiene home care. In some cases, where more extensive dental work is required, your pet may be sent home with pain medication to ease their recovery.