Comprehensive Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Routine dental care is a critical component of dogs' and cat's oral and overall health. However, most pets don't actually receive the care they require to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our Riverbank veterinary hospital, we provide comprehensive dental care for your pet, from basic care like cleanings and polishing, to dental x-rays and surgery.
We also make a point of providing dental health education to pet owners about home dental care for their pets.
Dental Surgery in Central Valley
We know that discovering your pet requires dental surgery can be an overwhelming prospect. We strive to make this process as stress-free as possible, for both you and your pet.
We will do everything you need ot make sure your pet's experience with us is as comfortable and easy as possible. We will break down each step of the process, including any care you will need to provide your pet both before and after the surgery.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Much like your annual checkup at the dentist, your dog or cat should come in for a dental examination at least once a year. Pets who are more prone to dental problems than others may need to see us more often.
River Oak Veterinary 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
- Tartar buildup
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Discolored teeth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
We will complete a thorough pre-anesthetic assessment of your pet's overall health before their dental examination.
We will take samples of their urine and blood for analysis to make sure that it is safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia. 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.
After this, your pet's teeth will be cleaned and polished, both above and below the gum line, and x-rays will be taken. Our vets will then apply a fluoride treatment to each tooth.
The final step is to apply a dental sealant to prevent plaque from attaching to the enamel. If advanced periodontal disease is found, the veterinarian will develop a treatment plan 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 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 you know that your pet's behavior can be a good indicator of any oral health issues they are experiencing. These include drooling excessively (and that drool containing blood or pus), pawing at their teeth or mouth, ceasing to sufficiently groom themselves, grind their teeth or yawning excessively.
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 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?
While at home, you should brush your pet's teeth regularly and give them dental chew toys. These will help to eliminate plaque.
Do not allow your pet to chew on things which could damage your teeth, like bones, toys or objects which are too hard. Make sure that you contact your vet with any questions or concerns you might have 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, and will often react negatively by struggling or biting.
Similar to the anesthesia which your dentist gives anxious or nervous patients, our Riverbank vets administer anesthesia to all pets before performing any dental procedure. This places less stress on your companion and allows us to x-ray their mouth as is required.