Dental Care for Pets
Routine dental care is a critical component of your pet's oral and overall health, but most pets don't get the oral hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our Kinston veterinary hospital, we offer complete dental care for your pet, ranging from basic dental exams, teeth cleanings and polishing to surgeries.
We also make a point to provide dental health education to pet owners about home dental care.
Dental Surgery in Kinston
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 both you and your pet.
We'll do everything we can to ensure your pet's experience with us is comfortable. We'll break down each step of the process before the procedure, including preparation and post-operative care requirements, so you're fully aware of what to expect.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Your dog or cat should come in for a dental examination at least once a year. Pets who are more prone to dental problems may need to see us more often.
Five Oaks 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:
- 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 of food from the mouth
- Discolored teeth
We will complete a thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment 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 exam will be scheduled two weeks after the first 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 patients about pet dental care.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
Pets can develop periodontal disease or tooth decay as a result of poor oral health.
Just like with 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.
- 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 like cavities, bad breath and severe periodontal disease, oral health issues can lead to diseases in the liver, kidney, heart and other areas in your pet's body.
Your pet may not feel well in general (if you've ever had a toothache, you know how it can affect your mood!) and cysts or tumors are possible. 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 your pet's physical health and well-being.
- What happens during a pet's teeth cleaning appointment?
During your pet’s regular oral exam, the vet will examine your pet's mouth and look for oral health conditions or anything 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 what actions you should take.
In some cases, surgery will be needed to treat serious conditions. Your pet will be under anesthesia to ensure they are comfortable and do not experience any pain throughout the dental procedure. However, they will need special post-surgery care.
- 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
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 dentists, our Kinston vets provide anesthesia to all of our patients before dental procedures.