Dental Care for Pets
Routine dental care for cats and dogs is a vital component of our pets' oral and overall health. That said, most of our four-legged companions do not get the oral hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our veterinary hospital in Cincinnati, we offer complete dental care for your cat or dog from basics such as dental exams, teeth cleanings and polishing to dental X-rays and surgeries.
We are also passionate about educating pet owners about best practices when it comes to at-home dental care for their pets.
Dental Surgery in Cincinnati
We understand that learning that your pet requires dental surgery can be daunting. We strive to make this process as stress-free as possible, for you and for your pet.
We'll do everything in our power to ensure your pet's experience with us is easy and comfortable. We'll explain each step of the process to you in detail prior to the procedure, including post-operative care requirements.
We offer tooth extractions, jaw fracture repair surgeries, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Similar to your yearly visit to the dentist, your cat or dog should see us for a dental examination at least annually. Pets who are more susceptible to oral health issues than others may need to see us more often.
Our vets at Eastgate Animal Hospital can assess, diagnose and treat dental health issues in cats and dogs.
If you notice any of the following symptoms in your pet, it's time for a dental checkup.
- Discolored teeth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Tartar buildup
- Bad breath
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Bleeding from the mouth
Your veterinarian will complete a detailed pre-anesthetic physical assessment before conducting the dental exam.
We will take blood and urine analyses to confirm your pet can safely undergo anesthesia. Additional diagnostics, such as chest radiographs or ultrasound may also be conducted.
Once anesthesia has been administered and your pet is unconscious, we will perform a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
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 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?
As a consequence of poor oral health, periodontal disease can become an issue for our pets.
Similar to humans, plaque sticks to our pets' teeth when they eat and can build up into tartar if not regularly brushed away.
This may lead to infections in the mouth, tooth decay, periodontal disease and even loose or missing teeth. That's why regular dental care is critical to preventing pain or disease in the gums.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Behavior can be indicative of oral health issues for our pets. If your pet is experiencing dental problems, they drool excessively (and the drool may contain blood or pus), or you may notice them pawing at their teeth or mouth. They may also stop grooming sufficiently, yawn excessively or grind their teeth.
Other symptoms of oral health issues include swollen gums, discolored teeth, and bad breath. Some pets may even suffer from pain that keeps them from eating. If your cat or dog experiences these symptoms it's time to bring them into their veterinary dentist. Find out more about symptoms 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?
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
Since cats and dogs do not understand what is happening with dental procedures, they will often react by biting or struggling.
Similar to anesthesia provided to anxious or nervous patients by human dentists, our vets in Cincinnati provide anesthesia to each of our patients before performing dental procedures. This leads to less stress on the animals and allows us to X-ray their mouth as required.