Healthy teeth and gums are important for animals, too! At Stage Road Animal Hospital, we provide veterinary dental care for dogs and cats in the Memphis area and throughout Tennessee.
What is dentistry for pets?
Much like dentistry for humans, veterinary dentistry covers the cleaning, filling, extraction, or repair of your pets' teeth, as well as general oral health care.
Why is regular dental care important?
Dental problems in cats or dogs can be connected to various other health problems. Oral bacteria can travel to other parts of your pet's system, and can develop into problems. Without regular cleaning, cats and dogs are also susceptible to gum disease.
Annual dental cleanings give the vet an opportunity to identify the early signs of a problem and prevent it from becoming serious.
Dental Care at Stage Road Animal Hospital
Dental Surgery & Anesthesia
Stage Road Animal Hospital provides compassionate, comprehensive oral care for the veterinary patient.
When you go to the dentist, you understand that the process is designed to help keep your mouth healthy.
Your dentist uses techniques to minimize discomfort, pain and anxiety, so you accept the procedures and do your best to keep still.
Cats and dogs, on the other hand, do not understand any of this – and they tend to react by moving, trying to escape, or even biting.
Anesthesia allows the vet to perform the dental procedures on pets with a minimum of stress and pain for the patient.
Prevention & Maintenance
Your pet should visit the dentist for an oral health checkup annually. Some cats and dogs are more prone to dental problems, and may need to visit more often.
The vet will begin the dental checkup process with a complete examination of your pet’s mouth. Most dental disease in animals occurs below the gumline. To fully examine your pet's oral health, a thorough dental cleaning and evaluation will be performed under anesthesia.
The dental cleaning will consist of the removal of dental plaque and tartar, and polishing.
If necessary, the vet will recommend tools and techniques that you can use at home to keep your pet's teeth clean, such as a teeth brushing or a special diet.
FAQs About Dentistry
- What can I expect from the dental services at Stage Road Animal Hospital?
At Stage Road Animal Hospital, we aim to provide a comfortable experience for you and your pet.
Our dental surgery suite appears similar to a dental office that you and your family would visit.
We use specialized equipment including high-speed dental units, and anesthesia monitoring and delivery equipment.
- What are the symptoms of dental health problems in pets?
If your pet is experiencing oral health problems, symptoms may include:
- Tooth discoloration
- Bad breath
- Tartar buildup
- Loose or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Bleeding from the mouth
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog or cat, make an appointment for a checkup today.
- What is the difference between periodontal disease and gingivitis?
Periodontal (gum) disease is a progressive disease of the tissues supporting teeth. In humans and animals alike, it is a leading cause of early tooth loss.
Periodonal disease develops when bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless membrane, develops over the surface of teeth. Minerals in the saliva bond with the plaque to form tartar, a hard substance that adheres to the teeth.
The bacteria slowly work their way under the gums and cause gingivitis — inflammation of the gums.
Once established under the gums, bacteria destroy the tissues around the tooth, eventually leading to tooth loss. This condition is known as periodontitis.
Gingivitis and periodontitis are essentially different stages of gum disease. The bacteria associated with periodontal disease can also travel in the bloodstream and infect the heart, kidneys, and liver.
- Is my pet at risk of developing gum disease?
By some estimates, 85 percent of all pets have some level of periodontal disease by the time they are 3 years of age. In other words, gum disease in dogs and cats is very common, making regular monitoring and checkups a must.
- What happens during a dental cleaning?
A dental cleaning for a cat or dog will typically include the following:
• Removal of plaque and tartar from the teeth and under the gum line
• Probing of dental sockets to assess dental disease
• Polishing to smooth scratches in the enamel where bacteria may collect
• Dental radiographs (X-rays) to evaluate problems below the gumline
• Application of fluoride or a dental sealer
• Removal or repair of fractured or infected teeth
• Dental charting to monitor the progression of dental disease over time
• Inspection of the lips, tongue, and entire mouth for growths, wounds, or other problems
- What can I do to keep my pet's teeth clean?
There of several steps you can take at home to keep your pet’s teeth clean.
Your veterinarian may prescribe a plaque prevention product that you can apply to your pet’s teeth and gums on a weekly basis. The product adheres to the surface of the teeth, creating a barrier that prevents plaque from forming.
Daily brushing can help remove food debris from your pet’s teeth. You can use a child’s toothbrush or purchase a finger brush from your veterinarian.
Some diets and treats can also help prevent plaque and tartar buildup. These diets tend to include larger kibble encourage chewing and provide abrasive action against the tooth surface in the process. They may also contain ingredients that help prevent tartar mineralization.
- What are the risks with anaethesia?
While anesthesia always comes with some risk, it’s safer now than ever and continues to improve. The risks are very low and are far outweighed by the benefits.
Most pets can go home the same day of the procedure, although they might seem a little groggy for the rest of the day.