Dental Care for Pets
Routine dental care is a critical component of cats' and dogs' oral and overall health. Yet, most pets don't get the regular oral hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our San Jose veterinary hospital, we provide your pet with complete dental care. Our services range from dental exams, teeth cleanings and polishing, to dental X-Rays and surgeries.
We also provide all pet owners with all the dental health knowledge they need for at-home pet dental care.
Dental Surgery in San Jose
We understand it can be overwhelming to learn your pet needs dental surgery. We strive to make this process as stress-free as possible, for both you and your pet.
We'll do everything we can to ensure your pet's experience with us is comfortable and easy. We'll explain each step of the process to you in detail before the procedure. We will inform you of all preparation and post-operative care requirements.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for both cats and dogs.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Like your annual checkup at the dentist, your dog or cat should come in for a dental examination at least once a year. Pets that are more prone to dental health problems than others may need to see us more often.
Burbank Pet 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.
- Tartar buildup
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Bad breath
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Discolored teeth
A thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be completed for your pet before the dental exam.
We will take blood and urine tests 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 is under anesthesia, we will perform a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
Next, we clean and polish the teeth (including under the gum line) and take X-Rays. 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 we find advanced periodontal disease, the veterinarian will develop a treatment plan and discuss it with you.
Schedule a follow-up examination two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment.
During this visit, we will discuss implementing at home teeth brushing. We can also recommend products to 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?
Pets can develop periodontal disease or tooth decay as a result of poor oral health.
As it is with humans, plaque sticks to animals teeth when they eat. The plaque can build up into tartar if not brushed away regularly.
This can lead to mouth infections, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even loose or missing teeth. That's why regular dental care is essential in preventing pain or disease in the gums.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Did you know behavior can be a sign of oral health problems? If you notice your pet excessively drooling (drool may contain pus or blood), or pawing at their mouth or teeth, it can be sign of oral health problems. Your pet may also frequently yawn , 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. For more information about oral health symptoms read to the left under Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams.
- What long-term problems can poor oral health potentially cause in my pet?
A side from conditions such as cavities, bad breath and severe periodontal disease oral health issues can lead to a variety of diseases. These diseases can be in the liver, kidney, heart, and other areas throughout your pet's body.
Cysts or tumors can develop. Your pet may also not feel well in general (if you've had a toothache, you know how it can affect your mood!). Diseases related to oral health conditions can cause your pet pain and shorten their lifespan.
That is why regular dental care is so essential to your pets' physical health and wellbeing.
- What happens during a pet teeth cleaning appointment?
During your pet’s regular oral exam, the vet will examine their mouth and look for oral health conditions and any symptoms needing treatment.
The vet will clean tartar and other debris from your cat's or dog's teeth. If your pet has cavities, gingivitis, or other conditions, the vet will explain these to you and give advice on the actions you should take.
In some cases, if your cat or dog has a serious condition they will need surgery. Your pet will get anesthesia before their dental procedure to ensure they are comfortable and do not experience any pain. Yet, they will need special care post-surgery.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet schedule a dental appointment with us.
- What should I do at home to keep my pet’s teeth clean between dental appointments?
At home regularly brush your pet's teeth and give them dental chew toys. These will help eliminate plaque.
Do not allow your cat or dog to chew on things that will damage their teeth, such as bones, toys or other objects that are too hard. Always contact your vet with any questions or concerns you have about your pet's oral health.
Veterinary Dentistry: Anesthesia & Your Pet's Oral Health
Cats and dogs do not understand what is going on during dental procedures. Pets will often react to dental procedures by struggling or biting.
Like the anesthesia given to nervous/ anxious patients by dentists, our San Jose vets provide anesthesia to all animal patients before performing dental procedures. Putting less stress on your pets and allowing us to x-ray their mouth as needed.