Veterinary Dentistry & Dental Surgery
Preventive and restorative pet dental care is often an overlooked element of healthcare, but it is critical to your pet's well-being. Our vets in Montecito keep your pet's oral health in check.
Dental Care for Pets
Routine pet dental care is a critical component of oral and overall health for both cats and dogs. However, most pets don't get the oral hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
The veterinarians at Montecito Pet Hospital offer complete dental care for your pet, from basics such as dental exams, teeth cleaning and polishing to dental X-Rays and surgeries.
We're also enthusiastic about educating pet parents about the need for home dental care for their furry friends.
Pet Dental Surgery in Montecito
Learning that your pet needs dental surgery may feel daunting or overwhelming. At Montecito Pet Hospital, 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 easy and comfortable. Each step of the process will be explained to you in detail prior to the procedure, including any preparation and post-operative care needs your pet will have.
We offer tooth extractions, jaw fracture repair surgeries and periodontal disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Cat & Dog Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Similar to people, dogs and cats should come see us at least once a year for a dental examination. Pets who are mores susceptible to dental issues than others may need to visit more often.
The vets at Montecito Pet Hospital can assess, diagnose and treat dental health issues for cats and dogs.
Have you noticed any of these symptoms in your pet? If so, it's time for a dental checkup.
- Tartar buildup
- Discolored teeth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Bad breath
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
Before your pet's dental exam, the vent will complete a comprehensive pre-anesthetic physical assessment.
Blood pressure and urine analyses will be done to make sure it's safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia. Additional diagnostics, such as chest radiographs may also be conducted.
Once your pet is under anesthesia, we will perform a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
Next, the veterinarian will clean and polish the teeth (including under the gum line) and take X-Rays. A fluoride treatment will also be applied to each tooth.
Finally, a dental sealant is applied to keep plaque from attacking the tooth enamel. If advanced gum disease is discovered, the veterinarian will create a treatment plan and review it with you.
Other advanced dentistry techniques that we utilize include tooth sparing techniques such as Doxirobe treatments, root planning and bonding restoration for fractured teeth.
Ideally, your pet will return for a follow-up exam two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment.
At this time, we'll discuss how you can implement teeth brushing at home. We may also recommend products to help improve your pet's oral health.
FAQs About Pet Dental Care
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from clients 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?
Just like us, if our pets have poor oral health they can develop tooth decay and periodontal disease.
When animals eat, plaque gets stuck to their teeth and may build up into tartar if not regularly brushed away.
This can easily lead to tooth decay, infections in the mouth, loose or missing teeth or periodontal disease. This is why regular dental care is so important to preventing disease or gum pain.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Were you aware that your pet's behavior can indicate oral health issues? If your pet is experiencing dental problems, they may drool excessively (and this drool may contain blood or pus)., or you may notice them grinding their teeth. They may also stop grooming, paw at their teeth or mouth or yawn excessively.
Other symptoms of oral health problems include swollen gums, discolored teeth and bad breath. Some pets may even suffer from pain that prevents them from eating. Learn more about symptoms under Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams.
- What long-term problems can poor oral health potentially cause in my pet?
Oral health issues can cause issues such as bad breath, cavities and severe periodontal disease, but did you know your pet may also develop conditions that lead to disease in the heart, liver, kidney and other areas of the body as a consequence of poor oral health?
Tumors or cysts may also develop. You may notice your pet not feeling well in general (if you've ever had a toothache, you know how it can impact your mood!). Diseases related to oral health conditions can also shorten your pet's lifespan, not to mention cause significant pain.
This is why regular dental care is so critical to animal's health and well-being.
- What happens during a pet teeth cleaning appointment?
The vet will take time to examine your pet's mouth and check for oral health conditions, or any symptoms requiring treatment, during your pet's regular oral exam.
Tartar and other debris will be cleared from your dog or cat's teeth. If gingivitis, cavities or other conditions should be addressed, the vet will review these with you and recommend which actions you should take.
In some cases, serious conditions will need to be treated with surgery. We will provide your pet with anesthesia before their dental procedure to ensure their comfort and pain-free experience. However, special care will be required post-surgery at home.
If you notice any of these symptoms, book a dental appointment with us.
- What should I do at home to keep my pet’s teeth clean between dental appointments?
At home, brush your pet's teeth regularly and give them dental chew toys to help eliminate plaque.
Do not let them chew on things that will damage their teeth, such as objects, toys or bones that are too hard. Always contact your vet with any questions or concerns about your pet's oral health.
Veterinary Dentistry: Anesthesia & Your Pet's Oral Health
Because dogs and cats do not understand what's happening during dental procedures, they will often react to dental procedures by biting or struggling.
Just as some people have anesthesia to calm their nerves or anxiety during dental appointments, all pets are anesthetized before we perform dental procedures. This puts less stress on our patients and allows us to X-Ray their mouth as required.