Dental Care for Pets
Cats' and dogs' oral and overall health can be improved with routine dental care. Sadly, most pets don't receive the oral hygiene care they need to ensure their teeth and gums stay healthy.
At our veterinary clinic in Gold Canyon, we offer complete dental care for your pet, from basics such as routine dental exams, teeth cleaning and polishing, to dental X-Rays and surgeries.
We are also passionate about providing education, advice and guidance to pet owners about safe, effective home dental care for their cat or dog.
Dental Surgery in East Valley
We understand that leaning that your pet requires dental surgery can feel daunting. We strive to make the process as stress-free as possible, for both you and your pet, and are happy to answer your questions.
We'll do everything in our power to ensure your pet's experience with us is as easy and comfortable as possible. Before the procedure, we'll explain each step of the process to you in detail, including preparation and post-operative care requirements. We offer tooth extractions, gum disease treatment and jaw fracture repair surgeries for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Similar to your annual checkup at the dentist, your cat or dog should visit the vet for a dental examination at least once each year. Pets who are more susceptible to dental issues than others may need to come in more often.
Our veterinarians at Companion Pet Clinic of Gold Canyon can assess, diagnose and treat dental health problems in cats and dogs.
It's time for a dental checkup if you notice any of these symptoms in your pet:
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Discolored teeth
- Bad breath
- Tartar buildup
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
Before the dental exam, the veterinarian will complete a thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment.
Blood and urine analyses will be taken to ensure it's safe for your pet to have anesthesia. Additional diagnostics, such as chest radiographs may also be conducted.
A complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting will be conducted once your pet is under anesthesia.
Next, your pet's teeth will be cleaned and polished (including under the gum line) and X-Rays will be taken. Fluoride treatment will be applied to each tooth.
For the final step, the veterinarian will apply a dental sealant to keep plaque from attaching to the enamel. If advanced periodontal disease is identified, a treatment plan will be developed and the vet will review it with you.
Ideally, two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment, a follow-up exam will be scheduled.
During this visit, we can explain how to implement teeth brushing at home. We can also recommend products to 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?
As a consequence of poor oral health, our pets can develop periodontal disease or tooth decay.
Similar to humans, plaque sticks to our animals' teeth when they eat and may build up into tartar if not regularly brushed away.
This can lead to tooth decay, infections in the mouth, loose or missing teeth and periodontal disease. This is why regular dental care plays a key role in preventing disease or pain 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 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
Because cats and dogs do not understand what is going on during dental procedures, they will often react to these procedures by biting or struggling.
Similar to the anesthesia dentists provide to their human patients who may be nervous or anxious, our vets in Gold Canyon provide anesthesia to all of our pets before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals while allowing us to X-Ray their mouth as required.