Comprehensive Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Routinely scheduled pet dental care is a key component of your cat or dog's oral and overall health. However, most pets don't actually get the oral hygiene care they need in order to keep their gums and teeth healthy throughout their lives.
At our Poway veterinary hospital, we provide complete dental care for your pet, from basics such as dental exams, teeth cleanings and polishing, to dental x-rays and surgeries.
We also make a point of providing dental health education to pet owners about providing oral hygiene and dental care to their companions at home.
Veterinary Dental Surgery in Poway
We know that finding out that your pet needs dental surgery can be an overwhelming experience. We strive to make this process as stress-free as possible both for you and your pet.
We will do everything we can to make sure that your pet's veterinary experience with us is as comfortable and easy as possible. We will break down each step of the process with you in detail before your procedure, including both preparations you may have to provide your pet and any post-operative care requirements they might have.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Dental Exams
Much like your annual checkup at the dentist, your dog or cat should come in for a dental examination at least once a year. Pets who are more prone to dental problems than others may need to see us more often.
Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital can assess, diagnose and treat dental health problems 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
- Discolored teeth
- Bad breath
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
A thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be completed for your pet before the dental exam.
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 your pet has been placed under anesthesia, we will conduct a complete oral examination and charting of each tooth.
Next, the teeth are cleaned and polished (including under the gum line) and x-rays are taken. We then apply a fluoride treatment to each tooth.
The last step in the process is to apply a dental sealant and prevent plaque from attaching to your pet's enamel. If periodontal disease is found in an advanced stage, our veterinarians will develop a treatment plan and speak with you about it.
Ideally, a follow-up examination will be scheduled two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment.
During this visit, we will discuss implementing teeth brushing at home. We can also recommend products that can help improve your pet's oral health.
FAQs About Pet Dental Care
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from our patients 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 people, when our pets eat, plaque sticks to their teeth and can build up into tartar if not routinely brushed away.
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 that your pet's behavior may actually be an indicator of oral health issues? If your pet is experiencing dental health problems, they may drool excessively (and this drool may contain concerning substances like blood or pus). You may also notice them pawing at their teeth, they may yawn excessively, grind their teeth or stop sufficiently grooming.
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.
Your pet may develop tumors or cysts and feel generally unwell. On top of this, diseases related to oral health conditions have been shown to shorten the life expectancy of pets and cause significant pain or discomfort.
This is why regular dental care is so essential to animals' physical health and wellbeing.
- What happens during a pet teeth 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 instances, surgery will be needed to treat serious conditions. Your pet will be provided with anesthesia before the dental procedure to make sure that they remain comfortable and don't experience any pain. However, spec care will be required after your pet's 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 on a regular basis 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
Dogs and cats don't know what is going on during dental procedures and will often negatively react to dental operations like cleanings by struggling and biting.
Similar to the anesthesia provided to nervous or anxious patients by dentists, our Poway vets provide anesthesia to all of our patients before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to x-ray their mouth as needed.