Don't underestimate the importance of pet dental care for dogs and cats. Sadly, many pets don't receive the oral hygiene care they need to maintain a healthy mouth.
At our O’Fallon veterinary hospital, we provide necessary dental care for your pet, from dental exams, cleanings and polishing, to dental X-rays and surgery.
We also do our part to educate owners about the importance of dental care for pets and what they can do between appointments.
We know that finding out your pet needs dental surgery can be overwhelming. We want to make the entire process as stress-free as possible, for you and for your pet.
We'll do everything we can to ensure your pet's experience with us is comfortable and easy. We'll break down each step of the process to you in detail before the procedure, including preparation and post-operative care requirements.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
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.
Gentle Doctor Animal 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.
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.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from our clients about pet dental care.
Our pets can develop periodontal disease or tooth decay as a consequence of poor oral health.
Just like in humans, when animals eat, plaque sticks to their teeth and can build up into tartar if not brushed away regularly.
This can lead to infections in the mouth, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even loose or missing teeth. That's why regular dental care is essential to preventing pain or disease in the gums.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cats and dogs do not understand what is going on during dental procedures, and will often react to dental procedures by struggling or biting.
Similar to the anesthesia provided to nervous or anxious patients by the vet dentist, our O’Fallon 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.
Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of companion animals in O’Fallon and surrounding communities. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.