Veterinary Dentistry & Dental Surgery
Dental Care for Pets
Your pet's oral health is a key component of their overall health, so it's critical that cats and dogs receive routine dental care as part of their annual healthcare regimen.
Our Pine Grove vets offer complete dental care for dogs and cats, from basics such as dental exams, teeth cleanings and polishing to dental X-Rays and surgeries. Dental appointments at Pine Grove Animal Clinic are like a trip to the dog dentist or cat dentist for your pet.
Our team is passionate about ensuring that pet parents continue helping their pets improve and maintain good oral health between appointments. This is why we strive to educate dog and cat owners about at-home oral hygiene for pets.
Dental Surgery in Pine Grove
Learning that your pet needs dental surgery can feel overwhelming. That's why we work hard to make the 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 comfortable and easy. Before the procedure, we'll break down each step of the process to you in detail, including preparation and post-operative care requirements.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams in Central Pennsylvania
Similar to your annual checkup at the dentist, your dog or cat should see us for a veterinary dentist appointment at least once each year. Pets who are more susceptible to oral health issues than others may need to come in more often.
Pine Grove Animal Clinic can assess, diagnose and treat oral health issues in cats and dogs.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, it's time for a dental checkup.
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bad breath
- Tartar buildup
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
The vet will complete a thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment before performing the dental exam.
Blood and urine analyses will be taken to ensure your pet can safely undergo anesthesia. Additional diagnostics, such as chest radiographs or an EKG may also be conducted.
Once your pet is under anesthesia, we will conduct a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
Next, teeth will be cleaned and polished (including under the gumline) and X-Rays are taken. Fluoride is then applied to each tooth.
The final step is to apply a dental sealant to prevent plaque from attacking the enamel. If advanced periodontal disease is discovered, the veterinarian will create a treatment plan and review 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.
Our FAQs About Cat & Dog 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?
Just like us, our pets can develop periodontal disease or tooth decay as a result of poor oral health.
When animals eat, plaque gets stuck to their teeth and may build up into tartar if not regularly brushed away.
This can cause infections in the mouth, tooth decay, periodontal disease 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?
Did you know your pet's behavior can indicate oral health issues? If your pet is experiencing dental problems, you may notice them pawing at their mouth or teeth and they may drool excessively (and the drool may contain pus or blood). They may also stop grooming sufficiently, yawn excessively or grind their teeth.
Other signs of oral health problems include discoloured teeth, swollen gums and bad breath. Some pets may even suffer from pain that keeps them from eating. Read more about symptoms 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
Because cats and dogs do not understand what is happening during dental procedures, they will often react by struggling or biting during dental procedures.
Like the anesthesia provided to nervous or anxious patients by dentists, our Pine Grove vets 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.