Caring for Your Pet's Dental Health
Routine dental care is incredibly important to maintaining a dog or cat's oral and overall health, but most pets don't get the oral hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At Brentwood veterinary hospital, we provide comprehensive dental care for your pet, from basics such as dental exams and teeth cleaning to dental X-rays and oral surgeries.
We also make a point of providing dental health education to pet owners about home dental care for their cats and dogs.
Dental Surgery in Brentwood
We understand how learning your pet needs dental surgery can be overwhelming. Our team's goal is to make this process as stress-free as possible for you and your pet.
We work hard to ensure your pet's experience with us is comfortable and easy. Your vet will discuss each step of the process with you in detail before the procedure, including preparation and post-operative care requirements.
We offer a range of dental care services such as jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Much like humans, your dog or cat should come in for a dental examination at least once a year. Pets who tend to have more dental problems than others may need to see us more often.
The skilled veterinarians at Brentwood Veterinary Clinic 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
- 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
A thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be performed on your pet before the dental exam.
Then, blood and urine analyses are completed to ensure it's safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia. Additional diagnostics such as chest radiographs or an ECG may also be conducted if deemed necessary.
Once your pet is under anesthesia, we will conduct a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
The next step is cleaning and polishing the teeth (including under the gum line) and taking X-rays of the teeth. A fluoride treatment is then applied to each tooth.
The final step is to apply a dental sealant to prevent plaque from attaching to the enamel. If advanced periodontal disease is found, the veterinarian will develop a treatment plan and discuss it with you.
Ideally, a follow-up examination will be scheduled two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment.
During this visit, your vet will discuss implementing teeth brushing at home. We can also recommend products that can help improve your pet's oral health.
Pet Dental Care FAQs
Below, we answer some 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.
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. 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 could be an indication of oral health problems? If your pet is experiencing dental issues, they might display signs such as excessive drool that may contain pus or blood, new or increased pawing at their mouth or teeth, grinding their teeth, or insufficient grooming habits.
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, but aside from physical signs of illness, it's important to observe your pet's behavior (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 essential to your animals' physical health and wellbeing.
- What happens during my pet's 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 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 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
Cats and dogs do not understand what is going on during dental procedures, and will often react to dental procedures by biting or struggling.
Similar to the anesthesia provided to nervous or anxious patients by dentists, our Brentwood 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.