Dental Care: Cats & Dogs
Routine oral health care is a key aspect of your dog or cat's oral and overall health. However, many pets don't actually receive the dental hygiene care they need to help their teeth an d gums stay healthy throughout their life.
At our veterinary hospital in Fayetteville we provide complete dental care for your pet, from basics such as dental exams, teeth cleanings and polishing, to dental X-Rays and surgeries.
We also offer dental care as part of our Wellness Packages for your pet. With them, we bundle their preventive and dental health care together into convenient monthly payments.
Dental Surgery in Fayetteville
We know that discovering your pet requires dental surgery can be a bit overwhelming to most pet parents. Because of this, we strive to make the process as stress-free as possible for both you and your pet.
We will do everything we can to help make sure your pet's experience while in our care is easy and comfortable. We will explain each step of the surgical process to you in advance of the procedure, including any preparation or post-operative care you will need to provide your pet.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Just like your annual checkup with the dentist, your cat or dog should come in to our hospital for a dental examination at least once each year. Pets that are liable to develop oral health issues may need to see us more often than that.
Fayette Veterinary Medical Center 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
- Tartar buildup
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Discolored teeth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
We always complete a comprehensive physical assessment for your dog or cat before administering anesthesia for 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 has been placed under anesthesia, we will conduct a comprehensive tooth-by-tooth oral examination.
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 last step of the process is to apply a dental sealant to your pet's teeth to help prevent plaque from attaching to their enamel. If advanced periodontal disease is found, our vets will develop a treatment plan and walk through 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 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 your know that your pet's behavior may actually be an indicator of oral health issues. If your pet is showing signs of dental problems, they may drool excessively, grind their teeth, stop grooming themselves properly or yawn far more than normal.
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 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 instances, surgery will be required to treat serious conditions in your pet. We will provide them with anesthesia before their dental procedure to help ensure that they remain comfortable and experience no pain. Special care will be required when your pet returns home after 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
Dogs and cats don't understand what is happening during dental procedures. Because of this, they will often react negatively by struggling or biting.
Similar to the anesthesia provided to nervous or anxious patients by dentists, our vets provide anesthesia to all of our patients before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to X-Ray their mouth as needed.