Veterinary Dentistry & Dental Surgery
Complete Dental Care for Your Pets
As with humans, dental care is a critical component of cats' and dogs' oral and overall health. Unfortunately, many of our pets don't get the oral hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our Brookhaven veterinary hospital, we provide comprehensive dental care for your pet, from basics like dental exams, teeth cleanings, and polishing, to dental X-rays and surgeries.
We also make a point of educating pet owners about home dental care for their pets.
Dental Surgery in Brookhaven
We understand that finding out that your pet needs dental surgery can be overwhelming. We strive to make this process as stress-free as possible for you and for your pet.
We'll do our utmost to make your pet's experience with us comfortable and easy. Each step of the process will be explained to you in detail before the procedure, including preparation and post-operative care requirements.
Our skilled veterinarians perform jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for pets.
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.
Brookhaven Animal Hospital vets 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.
- Tartar buildup
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Bad breath
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Decreased appetite or refusal to eat
- Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food
- Discolored teeth
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 is comfortably under anesthesia, we will conduct a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and 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.
Finally, a dental sealant is applied to prevent plaque from adhering to the enamel. If advanced periodontal disease is found, the veterinarian will develop a treatment plan and discuss it with you.
Ideally, your pet will see your vet again about two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment.
During this visit, we will discuss introducing teeth brushing at home and can also recommend products that can help improve your pet's oral health.
FAQs About Pet Dental Care
Here are some 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 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 pus or blood may be present), or you may notice them pawing at their mouth or teeth. They may also yawn excessively, grind their teeth, or stop grooming themselves well.
Other symptoms of oral health issues include bad breath, swollen gums, and discolored teeth. Some pets may even be experiencing pain that prevents them from eating. Read more about symptoms under Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams.
- What long-term problems can poor oral health potentially cause in my pet?
Aside from causing a range of problems 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.
Your pet may also not feel well in general (if you've ever experienced tooth pain, you know how it can affect your mood!) Additionally, diseases related to oral health conditions can shorten the lifespan of your pet and cause them substantial pain.
This is why regular dental care is so important to animals' physical health and wellbeing.
- What happens during a pet teeth cleaning appointment?
During your pet’s regular dental exam, the vet will examine their mouth for oral health conditions or any symptoms needing treatment.
The vet will clean tartar and other residues from your pet's teeth. If cavities, gingivitis, or other conditions need to be managed, the vet will explain these to you and provide advice on which actions to take.
In some cases, surgery will be needed to treat severe 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 observe any of these symptoms in your pets, 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 let them chew on things that will harm 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: Why We Use Anesthesia
Animals do not understand what is happening during dental procedures, and cats and dogs often react to them by struggling or biting.
Like the anesthesia provided to nervous or apprehensive patients by dentists, our Brookhaven vets provide anesthesia to all of our patients before conducting dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to X-Ray their mouth.