Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Regular dental care is one of the most crucial and probably most overlooked ingredients in your pet's health care routine. Most pets don't get the oral hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our Statesboro and Bulloch County veterinary hospital, we are pleased to provide a complete range of dental care for your pet, from basics such as dental exams, cleanings, and polishing, to dental X-rays, and surgeries.
We also make a point of providing dental health education to dog and cat owners about home dental care just like your dentist would do for you.
Dental Surgery in Statesboro
It's never easy finding out your pet needs dental surgery. If you're feeling overwhelmed, we want to make this process as straightforward and comfortable as possible.
We'll do everything we can to ensure your pet's experience with us is pleasant and easy. We'll break down each step of the process in detail before the procedure, including preparation and post-operative care.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Much like your annual checkup at the dentist, your dog or cat should come in for a dental examination at least once a year. Pets who are more prone to dental problems than others may need to see us more often.
Statesboro Bulloch Regional 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.
- Tartar buildup
- Bad breath
- Discolored teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
A thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be done on 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 (even 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.
We will discuss implementing teeth brushing at home. We will recommend products that can help you provide your cat or dog the dental care they require to maintain proper health.
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?
Our pets can develop periodontal disease or tooth decay as a consequence of poor oral health.
Just like in humans, when animals eat, plaque can get stuck to their teeth and can develop into tartar if not brushed away frequently.
This can lead to infections in the mouth, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even loose or missing teeth. 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.
Your pet will be provided with anesthesia before their dental procedure to ensure they are comfortable and do not experience any pain. Your veterinarian and veterinary technician will remove tartar and other debris from your pet's teeth.
If cavities, gingivitis, or other conditions need to be addressed, the vet will explain these to you and provide advice on how to treat the issue. In some cases, surgery will be needed to treat serious conditions. If surgery or extractions are needed, special care will be discussed 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
Dental procedures can be very scary for cats and dogs. Because they don't know what's happening, they can react by struggling or biting.
To provide a safe and relaxing experience, our Statesboro and Bulloch County vets will provide your pet with anesthesia before performing dental procedures. This not only puts less stress on your pet, it allows us to perform proper examinations and acquire X-rays of their moth as needed.