Pet Dental Care
Good Dental Care Keeps your Dog and Cat Healthy for a Long Life!
It is important to your dog and cat’s overall health care program to provide regular, professional dental care for your pet. Dental care is often overlooked but is essential to your pet’s general health. You may have noticed your pet’s bad breath but do not realize that oral disease is painful and can have serious systemic health consequences for your pet.
Periodontal disease affects almost all dogs and cats that are 3 years old or older. Periodontal disease causes red, swollen and tender gums, receding gums, bleeding, pain and bad breath. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss. The inflammation and infection associated with periodontal disease may also damage other organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys, or lead to other serious health problems. Preventative dental treatments at Portsmouth Veterinary Clinic and at-home dental care can prevent your pet from experiencing the major health effects of advanced periodontal disease.
We offer Comprehensive, Professional Dental Care
Prevention of the most common oral disease in pets (and in people!) consists of frequent removal of the dental plaque and tartar that forms on your dog and cat’s teeth. We recommend an annual dental exam so we may assess your pet’s teeth and gums. If your pet has evidence of periodontal disease, we will recommend a professional cleaning. This procedure, which takes less than an hour, requires your pet to be placed under anesthesia. Depending upon your pet’s age and physical condition, our veterinarians may request that a blood analysis, radiography or other diagnostic tests be performed to evaluate your pet’s heart, liver and kidney function before proceeding with the dental treatment.
Our routine preventative dental care includes complete ultrasonic scaling, subgingival cleaning and polishing. We place your pet under anesthesia and perform a comprehensive oral examination. We examine each tooth for mobility, fractures, malocclusion and periodontal disease. We remove plaque and tartar using hand instruments and power scaling equipment. We give your pet’s teeth a thorough ultrasonic cleaning and polishing. After professional cleaning, your pet’s mouth with be healthier and pain free.
Included in our professional dental cleanings:
- Complete prophylactic ultrasonic scaling, root planning and polishing
- Dental x-rays when necessary
- Minor oral surgery including, but not limited to, tooth extractions, fistula repairs and removal of oral tumors.
- Comprehensive pain management before, during and after any oral procedure that may produce discomfort.
- Monitored general anesthesia by our knowledgeable, well-trained technicians with the aid of digital monitoring of your pet’s vital signs.
- All anesthetic patients have a designated technician/nurse assigned to them at all times.
- Local anesthesia for surgical tooth extractions.
- Home dental care instructions and product recommendations.
- A referral network to veterinary dentists and specialists when needed.
At Home Dental Care
At home brushing and preventative care is very important. For dogs AND cats, regular at-home brushing is an important part of a preventative dental program. It is important to emphasize that the best way to minimize the cost of dental care for your pet is to prevent the development of dental disease. Our staff will show you how to brush your pet’s teeth at home. This is an excellent way to prevent plaque and tartar build-up and promote good oral hygiene. Brushing your pet’s teeth at the same time each day with a pet toothpaste (do not use human toothpaste) and a brushing device (toothbrush, finger brush, gauze on your finger, etc.) is the most effective means of removing plaque from your pet’s teeth. If you have any questions on how to brush your pet’s teeth, please give us a call.
Advanced oral disease is more costly for owners because multiple tooth extractions and other procedures are often required to make pets comfortable and restore their oral health. However, the families of pets with significant periodontal disease are often the ones who report the most rewarding results. They usually notice a significant change in their pet’s behavior and an increased energy level following the dental treatment. Professional dental care by us and at home preventive care can keep your pet’s teeth healthier and your pet happier. We can discuss all options for home preventive dental care.
Clinical Signs of oral and dental diseases in dogs and cats
If your pet shows any of the following symptoms, please call us to schedule an appointment as your pet may be suffering from painful dental disease:
- Loss of appetite or loss of weight
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth or teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
- Red, inflamed gums
- Swollen mouth, jaw or gums
- Your pet shies away from you when you touch the mouth area
- Increased salivation
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Doesn’t play with chew toys as often
- Pain when eating