Comprehensive Cat & Dog Dental Care
It's important for your cat or dog's oral and overall health that you maintain their dental care routine. The majority of pets don't receive the level of oral hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our veterinary clinic in Kittrell, we offer complete dog and cat dental care from the basics services such as teeth cleanings and polishings, to dental exams, and surgeries.
We also aim to provide dental health education to all pet parents about home dental care for their cats and dogs.
Dental Surgery in Kittrell, NC
Our vets know that it can be nerve-wracking to learn that your pet needs dental surgery. This is why we are driven to make the process as low stress as possible, for both you and your pet.
We'll do all that we can to make sure your cat or dog's experience with us is easy and comfortable. Your vet will explain each step of the process in detail prior to the procedure, including the requirements for surgery preparation and post-operative care.
Some of the surgeries we offer include tooth extractions, jaw fracture repair surgeries, and gum disease treatment.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
As it is with your yearly visit to the dentist, your cat or dog should see their vet for a dental examination at least one time annually. Pets that are more prone to having dental problems than others might have to see their vet more frequently.
Kittrell Animal Hospital is able to assess, diagnose and treat dental health conditions in both cats and dogs.
If you discover any of the symptoms below in your cat or dog, bring them in for a dental checkup.
- Bad breath
- Tartar buildup
- Discolored teeth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food from the mouth
An in-depth pre-anesthetic physical examination will be performed for your pet prior to the dental exam.
We will conduct a blood test and a urine analysis to make sure your pet is safe to undergo anesthesia. Your vet might also implement additional diagnostics, such as chest radiographs.
Once your cat or dog is under anesthesia, we will perform a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
Then we will clean and polish your pet's teeth (including under the gum line). We will also apply a fluoride treatment to every tooth.
In the last step, we apply a dental sealant to prevent plaque from attaching to the enamel. If we discover advanced periodontal disease your veterinarian will develop a treatment plan and discuss it with you.
Ideally, you should come back for a follow-up examination two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment visit.
When you come in, we will discuss implementing a tooth brushing routine at home. We are also able to recommend products that can help improve your pet's oral health.
FAQs About Pet Dental Care
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we get from our patients about the pet dental care and veterinary dentistry that we offer.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
Just like humans our cats and dogs can develop periodontal disease or tooth decay as a result of poor oral health.
When animals eat plaque sticks to their teeth and can build up into tartar if it isn't brushed away regularly.
This can cause tooth decay, periodontal disease, infections in the mouth, and even loose or missing teeth. This is why regular dental care is so important for preventing pain or disease in the gums.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Did you know that your cat or dog's behavior can be a sign of oral health problems? If your pet is suffering from a dental condition, they could drool excessively (the drool might contain pus or blood), paw at their mouth or teeth, yawn excessively, grind their teeth, or stop sufficiently grooming.
Other signs that your pet may have an oral health problem include tooth discoloration, swollen gums, and bad breath. Some cats and dogs might even experience pain that prevents 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?
Other than causing problems such as cavities, bad breath, and severe periodontal disease, oral health problems and conditions can lead to disease in the heart, kidney, liver, and other areas of your pet's body.
Cysts or tumors can develop. Your companion might also not feel good in general (if you've ever had a toothache, you may understand how it can impact your mood!). Also, diseases that are related to oral health conditions can shorten your pet's lifespan and cause them significant pain.
This makes your pet's dental care routine so essential to their physical health and wellbeing.
- What happens during pet teeth cleanings?
During your cat or dog's regular oral exam, your vet will evaluate their mouth and look for oral health conditions or any symptoms that require treatment.
Your vet will clean tartar and other debris from your pet's teeth. If they find cavities, gingivitis, or other conditions that need to be addressed, your vet will explain these to you and provide options for the actions you should take.
There are times where pets require surgery to treat serious conditions. Your cat or dog will be provided with anesthesia before their dental procedure to make them comfortable and to make sure that they don't experience any pain. However, special care will be needed after the surgery.
If you notice any of these symptoms, visit us for care and a diagnosis.
- What should I do at home to keep my pet’s teeth clean between dental visits?
At home, you should brush your pet's teeth on a regular basis and give them dental chew toys. These will help eliminate plaque.
Don't let your pet 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 you have regarding your pet's oral health.
Veterinary Dentistry: Anesthesia & Your Pet's Oral Health
Cats and dogs don't know what is happening during dental procedures, and they sometimes respond to dental procedures by biting or struggling.
Just like the anesthesia dentists provide their nervous or anxious patients, our Kittrell vets give all of our patients' anesthesia before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on your pets and allows us to treat their mouth as required.