Comprehensive Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Routine dental care is a key part of dogs' and cats' overall and oral health. However, most pets don't actually receive the oral hygiene care they require in order to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At San Roque Pet Hospital, we provide comprehensive dental care for your beloved pet, from dental exams to cleanings, polishing, x-rays and surgeries.
We also make a point of providing dental health education to pet owners about home dental care for their pets.
Dental Surgery in Santa Barbara
We know that finding out your pet requires dental surgery can be an overwhelming prospect. We work to make this process as stress-free as possible for both your pet and for you.
We will do everything we can to make sure that you and your pet's experience with us is easy and comfortable. We will break down each step of this process to to you clearly and in detail, from preparation to post-operative care requirements.
We offer tooth extractions and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Just like at your own annual checkup with your dentist each year, your cat or dog should come in for dental exams and checkups at least once pet year. Pets that are more prone to dental problems than others may need to come in more often.
San Roque 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.
- Discolored teeth
- Bad breath
- Tartar buildup
- 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
Our vets will conduct a pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be completed for your pet before 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 is under anesthesia, we will conduct a comprehensive oral exam, tooth by tooth,. along with 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 last step is the application of a dental sealant in order to prevent plaque from attaching to their enamel. If our vets identify periodontal disease, they 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.
These can cause infections in your pet's mouth, tooth decay, missing or loose teeth or periodontal disease. Because of this, it is key to provide your pet with routine dental care in order to prevent pain or disease.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Did you know behavior may be an indication of oral health problems? If your pet is experiencing dental problems, they drool excessively (and the drool may contain pus or blood), or you may notice them pawing at their mouth or teeth. They may also yawn excessively, 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. 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?
When caring for your pet at home, you should brush their teeth on a regular basis and give the dental chew toys. In combination, these will help eliminate plaque.
Don't allow your pet to chew on objects like bones, toys or other things which may damage their teeth. Always contact your vet with any questions or concerns you may 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, and will often react to dental procedures by struggling or biting.
Similarly to the anesthesia that is provided by anxious or nervous patients by dentists, our Santa Barbara vets can provide anesthesia to all of our patients before performing any dental procedure. This places less stress on your pet and lets us x-ray their mouth as required.