Dental Health


Dental care is a very important part in your pet’s overall health. During any exam our doctors perform, we always make sure to check your pet’s teeth. This is to check if anything is broken or any abnormalities besides tartar build up. Most dental disease occurs under the gum line, where you can’t see it, our doctors may recommend a thorough dental cleaning and evaluation which is performed under anesthesia.

Anesthesia makes it possible to perform the dental procedures with less stress and pain for your pet. In addition, anesthesia allows for a better cleaning and polishing because your pet is not moving around and risking injury from the dental equipment. 

Dental cleaning includes scaling (to remove dental plaque and tartar) and polishing, similar to the process used on your own teeth during your regular dental cleanings. After we scale each tooth, then we go ahead to polish each as we near the end. The veterinarian will inspect the mouth after to make sure there are no teeth that need to be extracted.

This is a type of outpatient procedure. What this means is for dentals we have you drop off in the morning and pick your pet up later in the day once the anesthetic is worn off.

Home Dental Care 

Preventing periodontal disease by keeping your pet's teeth and gums healthy isn't just a job for your veterinarian; it's your job too.  The goal of home dental care is to remove the plaque before it mineralizes into calculus (tartar), a process that occurs within days of a teeth cleanings, ongoing follow-up oral care at home is just as important in preventing this.

You should also be able to recognize the signs of poor oral health. If you notice any of the following, you should contact us and make a dental appointment for your pet: 

• Persistent bad breath

• A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line 

• Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched 

• Decreased appetite or difficulty eating

• Excessively drooling

• Change in eating habits

•Pawing at the mouth or rubbing the face 


Start with the basic tools: a soft-bristled toothbrush (ideally, one specifically for pets) or a finger brush and toothpaste. Be sure to use toothpaste specially formulated for pets, since toothpaste for people is designed to be spit out and can be toxic to cats and dogs when swallowed. 

Brushing your pet's health is the best started at a young age, before the adult teeth erupt. The younger the animal is, the more he/she will get used to their new routine. 

If you have other question about dental health or dental cleanings, feel free to call our office and we would be happy to answer! 

Here are some websites we recommend for further informational reading. 

American Animal Hospital Association - Dental 

American Veterinary Medical Association - Dental


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