Comprehensive Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
One of the most important components of cats' and dogs' oral and overall health is routine dental care. However, most pet's don't get the oral hygiene care they need to ensure their teeth and gums remain healthy.
We offer complete dental care for your pet at our Charlotte veterinary hospital, from basics such as dental exams, teeth cleanings and polishing, to surgeries.
We are also passionate about providing dental health education to pet owners about home dental care for pets.
Dental Surgery in Charlotte
Learning that your pet needs dental surgery may feel daunting. We strive 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 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
Similar to your annual checkup with the dentist, your cat or dog should see their vet for a dental examination at least annually. Pets who are more prone to dental issues than others might need to see us more often.
Our veterinarians at Quail Hollow Veterinary Hospital can assess, diagnose and treat dental health problems in cats and dogs.
Have you noticed any of these symptoms in your pet? It's time for a dental checkup.
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Bad breath
- Tartar buildup
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- 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). 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
Please review some of the most frequently asked questions we've received from our clients regarding pet dental care.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
Due to poor oral health, our pets can develop tooth decay or periodontal disease.
Like with their human counterparts, plaque sticks to animals' teeth when they eat and can 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. This is why it's critical to ensure your pet receives regular dental care - to prevent pain or disease in the gums.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Behavior can point to oral health issues. If your pet is suffering from dental problems, they may paw at their mouth or teeth, grind their teeth or stop grooming sufficiently. They may also yawn or drool excessively (and the drool may contain blood or pus).
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.
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 dogs and cats do not understand what is happening during dental procedures, they will often react by biting or struggling.
Similar to how dentists provide anesthesia to their human patients who may be nervous or anxious, our vets in Charlotte provide anesthesia to each patient before dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to properly clean their teeth.