Comprehensive Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Routine dental care is a key component of dogs' and cats' oral and overall health and well-being. However, most pets don't actually receive the oral hygiene care they need in order to keep their gums and teeth healthy.
At our Somerset veterinary hospital, we provide complete dental care for your pet, from basics such as dental exams, teeth cleanings, and polishing; to more advanced diagnostics and treatment options such as dental x-rays and surgeries.
We also make a point of providing dental health education to pet owners about home dental care for their pets.
Dental Surgery in Somerset
We know that finding out that your pet requires dental surgery can be an overwhelming experience. We strive to make this process as stress-free as possible, both for you and for your pet.
We'll do everything we can to ensure your pet's experience with us is comfortable and easy. We'll break down each step of the process to you in detail before the procedure, including preparation and post-operative care requirements. We offer tooth extractions, gum disease treatments, and jaw fracture repair surgeries for cats and dogs.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Just like your own annual dental checkups, your cat or dog should come in for a dental exam at least once every year. Pets that are more prone to oral health issues may need to see us more often than that though.
Spinnaker 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.
- Discolored teeth
- Bad breath
- Tartar buildup
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Abnormal chewing, excessive drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
We will conduct a comprehensive physical examination and assessment of your pet before their 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.
Once your pet is placed under anesthesia, we will conduct a comprehensive oral exam and charting.
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 final step is the application of a dental sealant in order to prevent plaque from attaching to the enamel. If our vets detect any abnormalities like advanced periodontal disease, we 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, 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 about pet dental care asked by our clients.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
Our pets are able to develop periodontal disease, tooth decay or other oral health issues just like people can.
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 issues can include bad breath, swollen gums, and discoloration of your companion's teeth. Some pets may even suffer from pain and discomfort that keeps them from eating properly. Read more about the symptom of oral health issues 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 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 struggling or biting.
Similar to the anesthesia provided to anxious or nervous patients by dentists, our Spinnaker Veterinary Clinic vets provide pets with anesthesia before performing any dental procedures. This places less stress on the animals and can allow us to x-ray their mouths as needed.