Veterinary Dentistry & Dental Surgery
Comprehensive Cat & Dog Dental Care
While routine pet dental health care is a key aspect of our dogs' and cats' oral and overall health, most pets don't actually get the oral hygiene they need at home in order to maintain the health of their gums and teeth.
At our Pittsboro veterinary hospital, we provide complete dental care for your pet, from basics such as dental exams, teeth cleanings and polishing, to dental x-rays and surgeries.
Our vets also make a point of providing pet dental health education to owners, helping them to build a pet oral hygiene routine into their daily lives at home.
Pet Dental Surgery in Pittsboro
We know that discovering your pet requires dental surgery can be an overwhelming experience. Because of this, we strive to make this process as stress-free as possible both for you and your beloved pet.
We will do everything we can to make sure that your pet's experience with us is as comfortable and easy as possible We will walk through each step of your pet's procedure and treatment with you in detail, including what pre and post-operative care your pet will need at home.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Just like your own annual checkup with your dentist, your cat or dog should come in to our animal hospital for a dental exam at least once each year. Pets that are more prone to developing dental health issues may need to come in and see us more often.
Hope Crossing 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.
- Bad breath
- Tartar buildup
- Discolored teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Pain or swelling in or around 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 has been placed under anesthesia we will complete a comprehensive oral exam of each of your pet's teeth along with 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 of your pet's routine dental appointment is the application of a dental sealant in order to prevent plaque from attaching to their teeth. If we discover periodontal disease, we will develop a treatment plan for it and then discuss it with you.
Ideally, we will book a follow-up exam with you for two weeks after your pet's 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 clients 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 may lead to infections in your pet's mouth, periodontal disease, tooth decay and even loose or missing teeth. Because of this, dental care is critical to preventing unnecessary pain, discomfort and disease in your pet's 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 regular oral exam, the vet will examine his or her mouth and look for oral health conditions or any symptoms needing treatment.
Our vet will clean your dog or cat's tartar out from their teeth. If we detect gingivitis, cavities or another condition that needs to be addressed, our vet will explain these to you and give you advice on what actions should be taken.
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
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 Pittsboro 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.