Comprehensive Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Routine dental care is critical for the oral and overall health of cats and dogs, but the majority of pets do not receive the oral hygiene care necessary to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
We provide comprehensive dental care for your pet at our Poway veterinary hospital, from routine dental exams, teeth cleanings, and polishing to dental x-rays and surgery.
Additionally, we make a point of educating pet owners about proper at-home dental care for their pets.
Pet Dental Surgery in Poway
We understand how upsetting it can be to learn that your pet requires dental surgery. We make every effort to ensure that this process is as stress-free as possible for both you and your pet.
We'll do everything possible to make your pet's stay with us enjoyable and stress-free. Before the procedure, we'll go over each step in detail with you, including pre-and post-operative care requirements.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Similar to your annual dentist visit, your dog or cat should have a dental examination at least once a year. Pets that are more prone to dental problems than others may require more frequent visits to our office.
Best Friends Veterinary Hospital is capable of evaluating, diagnosing, and treating dental health issues in cats and dogs.
If you notice any of the following symptoms in your pet, it's time for a dental checkup.
- Tartar buildup
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Bad breath
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food from the mouth
- Discolored teeth
Before the dental exam, your pet will undergo a thorough pre-anesthetic physical examination.
We will take blood and urine analyses to ensure it's safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia. Additional diagnostics, such as chest radiographs or an ECG may also be conducted.
After administering anesthesia to your pet, we will conduct a thorough oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
After cleaning and polishing the teeth (including beneath the gum line), x-rays are taken. Each tooth is then treated with fluoride.
Finally, a dental sealant is applied to prevent plaque from adhering to the enamel. If advanced periodontal disease is discovered, the veterinarian will develop and discuss a treatment plan with you.
Ideally, two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment, a follow-up examination will be scheduled.
We will discuss how to implement teeth brushing at home during this visit. Additionally, we can recommend products that can aid in the improvement of your pet's oral health.
FAQs About Pet Dental Care
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from our clients about pet dental care.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
Our pets can develop periodontal disease or tooth decay as a consequence of poor oral health.
Just like in humans, when animals eat, plaque sticks to their teeth and can build up into tartar if not brushed away regularly.
This can lead to infections in the mouth, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even loose or missing teeth. That's why regular dental care is essential to preventing pain or disease in the gums.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Did you know behavior may be an indication of oral health problems? If your pet is experiencing dental problems, they drool excessively (and the drool may contain pus or blood), or you may notice them pawing at their mouth or teeth. They may also yawn excessively, grind their teeth, or stop grooming sufficiently.
Other signs of oral health problems include bad breath, swollen gums, and tooth discoloration. Some pets may even suffer from pain that keeps them from eating. Read more about symptoms to the left under Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams.
- What long-term problems can poor oral health potentially cause in my pet?
Besides causing problems ranging from cavities and bad breath to severe periodontal disease, oral health issues and conditions can lead to disease in the liver, kidney, heart, and other areas throughout your pet's body.
Cysts or tumors may develop. Your pet may also not feel well in general (if you've ever had a toothache, you know how it can affect your mood!). In addition, diseases related to oral health conditions can shorten the lifespan of your pet and cause significant pain.
This is why regular dental care is so essential to animals' physical health and wellbeing.
- What happens during a pet tooth cleaning appointment?
During your pet’s regular oral exam, the vet will examine his or her mouth and look for oral health conditions or any symptoms needing treatment.
The vet will clean tartar and other debris from your cat's or dog's teeth. If cavities, gingivitis, or other conditions need to be addressed, the vet will explain these to you and provide advice on which actions you should take.
In some cases, surgery will be needed to treat serious conditions. Your pet will be provided with anesthesia before their dental procedure to ensure they are comfortable and do not experience any pain. However, special care will be needed post-surgery.
If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule a dental appointment with us.
- What should I do at home to keep my pet’s teeth clean between dental appointments?
At home, you should brush your pet's teeth regularly and give them dental chew toys. These will help eliminate plaque.
Do not allow them to chew on things that will damage their teeth, such as bones, toys, or objects that are too hard. Always contact your vet with any questions or concerns regarding your pet's oral health.
Veterinary Dentistry: Anesthesia & Your Pet's Oral Health
Cats and dogs have no concept of what is occurring during dental procedures and frequently react by struggling or biting.
Similar to how dentists administer anesthesia to nervous or anxious patients, our Poway veterinarians administer anesthesia to all of our patients prior to performing dental procedures. This alleviates stress for the animals and enables us to x-ray their mouths as necessary.