Comprehensive Cats & Dogs Dental Care
One important aspect of cats' and dogs' oral and overall health is routine dental care. However, most pets don't receive the oral hygiene care they need to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
At our veterinary hospital in Fort Oglethorpe, we offer complete dental care services for your pet, from basics including dental exams, teeth cleanings and polishing, to dental X-rays and surgeries.
We are also passionate about providing dental health education to pet owners regarding home dental care for their pets.
Dental Surgery in Fort Oglethorpe
We understand that learning that your pet needs dental surgery can be overwhelming. We do our best to make this process as stress-free as possible, for both you and 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 in detail prior to the procedure, including preparation and post-operative care requirements.
We offer tooth extractions, jaw fracture repair surgeries, and gum disease treatment for cats and dogs.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Similar to your yearly checkup with the dentist, your dog or cat should come in for a dental examination at least once per year. Pets who are more vulnerable to dental issues than others may need to come in for more frequent appointments.
The Animal Medical Center of Fort Oglethorpe 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.
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Bad breath
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Tartar buildup
- 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?
As a result of poor oral health, our pets may develop periodontal disease or tooth decay.
Like with their human counterparts, plaque sticks to our animals' teeth when they eat and can accumulate into tartar if not regularly brushed away. This may lead to tooth decay, infections in the mouth, periodontal disease, and even loose or missing teeth. That's why regular dental care is essential to preventing gum disease or pain.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Did you know your pet's behavior can point to oral health problems? If your pet is suffering from dental health issues, they may drool excessively (and the drool may contain blood or pus), and you may notice them yawning excessively. Perhaps they are grinding their teeth or have stopped grooming sufficiently. they may also paw at their mouth.
Other symptoms of oral health issues include swollen gums, tooth discoloration and bad breath. Some pets can even suffer from pain that makes them avoid eating. Find out 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 bite or struggle during procedures.
Like the anesthesia your human dentist provides to nervous or anxious patients, our vets in Fort Oglethorpe provide anesthesia to all patients before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to X-ray their mouth as needed.