Comprehensive Veterinary Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Routinely scheduled vet dental care is a key component of your cat or dog's oral and overall health. However, most pets don't actually get the oral hygiene care that they need in order to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our three veterinary hospitals serving communities across Southern Wisconsin, we provide comprehensive veterinary dental care for cats and dogs.
With us, veterinary dentistry is more than just cleaning teeth. Our services include dental X-rays at our Beloit and Cambridge locations and thorough exams and vet dental surgeries at all of our locations. We also make a point of providing dental health education to pet owners about home dental care for their pets.
Veterinary Dental Surgery at Badger Veterinary Hospital
We know that learning that your pet needs dental surgery can be overwhelming. We strive to help to make the process as stress-free for our clients as possible.
We'll do everything we can to ensure your pet's experience with us is comfortable and easy. We'll break down each step of the process to you in detail before the procedure, including preparation and post-operative care requirements.
We offer dental surgeries such as tooth extractions and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Similar to your own annual checkups with your dentist, your dog or cat should visit a dentist for an exam at least once each year. Pets that are more prone to dental issues than others may need to see us more often than that though.
Badger 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
- Discolored teeth
- 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
A thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be completed for your pet before the 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 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 clients 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 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.
An in-hospital dental cleaning involves the following procedures:
- General anesthesia, which is necessary in all cases for us to do a thorough dental exam and professional cleaning. Your pet will be continuously monitored during and after the procedure for the safest and most comfortable experience.
- A complete dental exam will be performed.
- Ultrasonic and hand scaling to remove plaque and tartar above and below the gum line.
- Polishing to smooth the surface of the teeth after scaling.
- Flushing to remove dislodged tartar, plaque, and bacteria from the mouth.
- If it’s determined that an infected tooth requires extraction, or there is a problem with the gums that must be addressed, further oral surgery will be recommended.
A thorough dental chart is used to record the dental health of your pet and any procedures done during the dental cleaning. You will also receive before and after pictures of your pet’s teeth.
- 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
Cats and dogs do not understand what is going on during dental procedures, and will often react to dental procedures by struggling or biting.
Similar to the anesthesia provided to nervous or anxious patients by dentists, our veterinarians provide anesthesia to all of our patients before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to x-ray their mouth as needed.