Pet Dental Care: Important for Pet Health

Dog smiling photo

Animal Medical Center of Wentzville provides pet dental care for dogs and cats, including pet dental exams, pet dental cleanings, and pet tooth extractions. Unlike us, pets can’t brush or floss their teeth daily, which can lead to pet oral health issues such as:

  • Tarter and plaque buildup—Causes bacteria leading to bad breath and gum infection (gingivitis)
  • Gum infection (gingivitis)—Leads to tooth loss and localized pain
  • Bacteria in the bloodstream—Causes disease in other organs, such as kidney, liver, and heart valves

Pet Dental Exam

A basic pet dental evaluation is included in your pet’s wellness exam, but a pet dental exam can be scheduled separately if you suspect your pet has an oral health concern.

Based on your pet’s dental exam, we will recommend a pet dental treatment plan. The treatment plan will cover all aspects of your pet’s dental procedure, such as:

  • Antibiotics - Certain dental procedures require antibiotics be administered prior to the dental procedure.

  • Extractions - An approximate number of teeth requiring extraction will be estimated. The exact quantity removed may vary, as the cleaning procedure progresses. We strive to save your pet’s teeth, and only painlessly remove the tooth if medically necessary.

  • Cost estimate - An estimate can be given to outline the costs of the dental procedure, including antibiotics, extractions, and pre-anesthetic blood work.

  • Blood work - Since anesthesia is needed for a dental procedure, we require your senior pets (7 or older) to have blood work prior to the dental procedure. This can be done the same morning. It is recommended but not required for pets under the age of 7 years of age.

  • Pre-procedure instructions - Withholding food and water, at midnight, the night before your pet’s scheduled appointment is one typical preparation we make sure you do.

Day of the Veterinary Dental Procedure

We strive to make your pet’s dental procedure as comfortable, stress free, and pain free as possible. Our veterinary team is available to answer your questions, but here are a few highlights regarding your pet’s dental procedure:

  • Your pet can be dropped off between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.
  • Blood work and a physical exam are performed in the morning after your pet arrives for your pet’s health and safety.
  • The procedure is performed late morning to early afternoon. It includes ultrasonic scaling of the entire tooth surface, including under the gum line to remove plaque, tarter, and bacteria. Then, the teeth and gums are cleansed with a polish similar to what you receive at your dentist.
  • If extractions are required, the doctor will assess the best method for removal, which may include drilling.
  • Your pet will receive an antibiotic and pain injection if needed and a nail trim.
  • The veterinarian will call you with an update after the procedure, and inform you regarding the details of your pet’s procedure and post-operative recovery.
  • Your pet can be picked up after 4 p.m. and prior to close. You will leave with instructions regarding aftercare and medications (if needed).

At Home Pet Dental Care

In addition to veterinary dentistry visits, it is important to establish an at home pet dental routine to prevent the development of periodontal disease caused by the accumulation of tarter and plaque. We recommend the following:

  • Daily teeth brushing with animal toothpaste - Human toothpaste has baking soda that could upset your pet’s stomach.
  • Veterinary approved dental chews - CET brand chews made by a veterinary dental company is coated with a dental hygienic cleaning solution.
  • Dental treats - Hill’s Science Diet treats are formulated to scrape the tooth surface while your pet chews.
  • Feline tarter control - Treats that help reduce tarter can be given to your cat regularly.

Water additives - CET brand flushes and rinses add some extra teeth-cleaning power to your regimen.

Proper dental care for your pet is important to maintaining your pet’s overall health. Please contact us to schedule an appointment, or to answer any questions you have regarding your pet’s dental health.

Additional resources can be found on our pet dental handout and Dr. Quigley’s dental health article featured in Metropet Magazine.