Comprehensive Pet Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Did you know most pets don't get the oral hygiene care they need? Routine pet dental care is one key component of cats' and dogs' oral and overall health and can help keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our veterinary hospital in Echo Park, we offer complete dental care for your pet, from basics including dental exams and teeth cleanings and polishing to surgeries.
We are also passionate about providing dental health education to pet owners regarding home dental care for their pets.
Dental Surgery in Echo Park
We understand that learning that your pet needs dental surgery can feel daunting. We strive to make this process as stress-free as possible, for both 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 thoroughly before the procedure, including any preparation and post-operative care requirements.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Similar to your annual checkup with the dentist, your dog or cat should see us for a dental examination at least once each year. Pets who are more prone to dental issues than others might need to be assessed more often.
At Echo Park Veterinary Hospital we can identify, diagnose and treat dental health problems in cats and dogs.
If you notice any of these symptoms it's time to bring your pet in for a dental checkup.
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Tartar buildup
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Bad breath
- Pain or swelling in or around 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 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 a fluoride treatment is applied 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 we've received from our patients about pet dental care.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
As a consequence of poor oral health, our pets may develop tooth decay or periodontal disease.
Just like the human counterparts, plaque sticks to animals' teeth when they eat and can accumulate into tartar if not regularly brushed away.
This can lead to tooth decay, periodontal disease, infections in the mouth, 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?
Were you aware that an animal's behavior can point to oral health problems? If your pet is experiencing dental issues, they may paw at their mouth or teeth, or you may notice them drooling excessively (and the drool may contain pus or blood). They might also grind their teeth, stop grooming sufficiently or yawn excessively.
Other indications of oral health problems include swollen gums, bad breath and tooth discoloration. Some pets can even experience 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?
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 during dental procedures, they will often react by biting or struggling.
Like the anesthesia dentists give to their human patients who may be nervous or anxious, our vets in Echo Park provide anesthesia to all of our patients before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to examine their mouth as needed.