Comprehensive Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Routine dental care is a key component of your cat or dog's oral and overall health. Some pets may not receive the oral hygiene care the need in order to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our Los Angeles veterinary hospital, we provide complete veterinary dentistry care for your pet, from basics such as dental exams, teeth cleanings and polishing, to dental x-rays and surgeries.
We also make a point of providing dental health education to pet owners about home dental care for their pets.
Dental Surgery in Los Angeles
We know that discovering your pet requires dental surgery can be overwhelming. We do our best to ensure that this process is 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 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.
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.
Shatto Veterinary Center 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.
- Bad breath
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Tartar buildup
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Discolored teeth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
We will complete a comprehensive physical assessment of your pet before their dental examination.
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.
After your pet is under anesthesia, we will also conduct a complete oral examination tooth by tooth as well as 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 last step is to apply a dental sealant to your pet's teeth in order to prevent plaque from building up on their teeth. If advanced periodontal disease or other oral health issues are discovered throughout this process, our veterinarians will develop a treatment plan for your pet.
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
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 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 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 regularly scheduled oral examination, our vets will look at their mouth and check for oral health conditions or any emerging symptoms which may require intervention.
Our veterinarians will clean the debris and tartar from your dog or cat's teeth. If they find cavities, gum disease or any other conditions, they will walk through what they are with you as well as what treatment will be required to address the health issue.
In some instances, surgery will be required in order to treat more serious health conditions. Your pet will be provided with anesthesia before their procedure in order to make sure they are comfortable and don't experience any pain. However, they will require special care from you to make sure they recover properly once they return home.
- 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 Los Angeles 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.