Comprehensive Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
In order to maintain good oral and overall health, regular visits to a vet are essential, but most pets do not receive the oral hygiene care they require.
At our Irvine veterinary hospital, we provide complete dental care for your pet, such as dental exams, teeth cleanings, polishing, dental x-rays, and surgeries.
We also educate pet owners on how to properly care for their pet's teeth at home.
Dental Surgery in Irvine
We understand that finding out that your pet needs dental surgery can be overwhelming. We strive to make this process as stress-free as possible for you and for your pet.
Our vets will do everything we can to help ensure your pet's experience with us is comfortable and easy. We'll break down each step of the process in detail before the procedure, including preparation and post-operative care requirements.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
It's a good idea to take your dog or cat in for a dental checkup every year. If your pet is predisposed to dental disease, you should bring them in more frequently.
Irvine Pet Hospital veterinary dentistry team 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
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Bad breath
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food from the mouth
- Discolored teeth
An extensive pre-anesthetic physical examination of your pet will be carried out 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 has been anesthetized, we will perform a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
Thorough cleaning and polishing of the teeth, as well as x-rays, follow. Each tooth is then given a fluoride treatment.
Finally, a dental sealant is put on the teeth to keep plaque from adhering to the enamel. A treatment plan will be developed and discussed with you if advanced periodontal disease is discovered.
A follow-up appointment should be set up two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment.
When you come in, we'll talk about how to brush their teeth at home. We can also make product recommendations.
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?
Poor oral health in our pets can lead to conditions like periodontal disease and tooth decay.
When animals eat, plaque forms on their teeth, just as it does in humans. If it isn't removed regularly, it hardens into tartar.
Dental infections, periodontal disease, decay, and even missing teeth can result. Regular dental care helps to keep gum disease at bay by preventing it from developing in the first place.
- 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 oral hygiene issues, 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?
Oral health problems and conditions, such as cavities, bad breath, and severe periodontal disease, can have a ripple effect throughout your pet's body, including the liver, kidneys, heart, and other organs.
Tumors or cysts may form. Oral health conditions can also shorten your pet's lifespan and cause significant discomfort.
This is why regular dental care is so essential to animals' physical health and wellbeing.
- What happens during a pet's teeth cleaning appointment?
The vet will examine your pet's mouth and look for any oral health conditions or symptoms that require treatment.
Your pet's teeth will be thoroughly cleaned. removing tartar and other dental plaque and other buildup. Dental issues like cavities and gingivitis can be addressed by the vet, who can offer advice on what steps to take next.
Surgery may be required to treat serious conditions in some cases. Before the dental procedure, your pet will be given anesthesia to ensure that they are comfortable and not in pain. However, you'll need to take extra care after surgery.
- How can I maintain my pet's long term dental health?
In addition to your dogs annual dental services, we offer regularly scheduled dental cleanings. During these additional appointments scheduled every 30, 60, or 90 days your pet does not need to be under a general anesthetic.
A specialized dental team comes into our office to perform a thorough scale and polish of your pet's teeth. The team is able to quickly identify any oral health issues your pet may be experiencing and works with our vets to address any issues that they find.
- What should I do at home to keep my pet’s teeth clean between dental appointments?
Brushing your pet's teeth and providing them with dental chew toys should be a regular part of your pet's home routine. These will aid the process of getting rid of any plaque.
Don't let them chew on things like bones, toys, or other objects that are too hard and that could damage their teeth. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet's oral health, you should always contact your veterinarian.
Veterinary Dentistry: Anesthesia & Your Pet's Oral Health
Cats and dogs don't understand what's going on during dental procedures, and will often react to them by struggling or biting.
Similar to the anesthesia provided to nervous or anxious patients by dentists, our Irvine vets provide anesthesia to all of our pets before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to X-ray their mouth as needed.