Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Routine dental care is a key aspect of your dog or cat's oral health and their overall health too. However, most pets actually don't get the routine oral hygiene care they need in order to keep their teeth and gums healthy throughout their lives.
At Cumberland Animal Hospital veterinary hospital, we provide complete dental care for your pet, including dental exams, teeth cleaning and polishing, and surgery.
We make a point of giving pet owners dental health education about their pet so they can start to incorporate at-home hygiene practices to help maintain their pet's oral health.
Dental Surgery in Lebanon
We know that discovering your pet requires dental surgery can be an overwhelming experience. Because of this, we aim to ensure that the process is 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 and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Just like your own annual checkup with your human dentist, your cat or dog should come in to Cumberland Animal Hospital for a dental checkup at least once each year. Pets who are more prone to dental issues than others may need to see us more often than that though.
Cumberland Animal Hospital 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.
- Bad breath
- Discolored teeth
- Tartar buildup
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
A thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be completed for your pet before the dental exam.
We will conduct tests like blood sampling and urinalysis to make sure that it's safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia before their dental procedure. Additional diagnostics, such as chest radiographs or an ECG may also be conducted.
Once your pet is under anesthesia, we will conduct a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
Next, the teeth are cleaned and polished (including under the gum line) and a fluoride treatment to each tooth.
The last step of the process is to apply a dental sealant in order to prevent plaque from attaching itself to your pet's enamel. If we discover oral health issues such as advanced periodontal diseases, our vets will develop a treatment plan for your pet 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 from our patients 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.
Just like in humans, when animals eat, plaque sticks to their teeth and can build up into tartar if not brushed away regularly.
This may lead to infections in your dog or cat's mouth, periodontal diseases, tooth decay, and even loose or lost teeth. Because of this, routine dental care is critical to prevent pain or disease in your pet's 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 to the left under Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams.
- What long-term problems can poor oral health potentially cause in my pet?
Besides causing oral health issues like bad breath and cavities, dental problems can spread ot other parts of your pet's body, including their liver, kidney, heart and other internal systems.
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 don't know what is going on during dental procedures and will often react quite negatively by biting or struggling.
Similar to the anesthesia provided to nervous or anxious patients by dentists, our Lebanon vets provide anesthesia to all of our patients before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to complete a thorough exam and cleaning.