Veterinary Dentistry & Dental Surgery
Dental Care for Pets
Routine, comprehensive dental care is an essential component of cats' and dogs' oral and overall health. However, most pets don't receive the oral hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our pet clinic in Clackamas, we provide complete dental care for your pet, from basics including dental exams, teeth cleanings and polishing to dental X-Rays and surgeries.
We also make a point of providing dental health education to pet parents about home dental care for their four-legged friends. We are always here to answer questions.
Dental Surgery in Clackamas
We understand that finding out that your pet requires dental surgery can be overwhelming. We strive to ensure this process is 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. We'll review each step of our process with you in detail before the procedure, including preparation and post-operative care needs.
We offer tooth extractions, jaw fracture repair surgeries and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Just like your annual checkup at your dentist's office, your cat or dog should see us for a dental examination at least once per year. Pets who are more susceptible to dental issues than others may need to see us more frequently.
At Clackamas Pet Clinic, our veterinary professionals can assess, diagnose and treat dental health problems in dogs and cats, so your furry companion can get back to feeling great.
Have you noticed any of these symptoms in your pet? If so, it's time to book a dental checkup.
- Bad breath
- Discolored teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Tartar buildup
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
Before your veterinarian performs a dental exam for your pet, they will conduct a thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment.
Blood and urine analyses will be taken to ensure your pet is able to safely undergo anesthesia. Additional diagnostics, such as an ECG or chest radiographs may also be needed.
Once your pet is under anesthesia, we will perform a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
The next step is to clean and polish the teeth (including below the gum line) and take X-Rays. A fluoride treatment is then applied to each tooth.
Finally, a dental sealant is applied to prevent plaque from attacking the enamel. If advanced periodontal disease is discovered, the veterinarian will develop a treatment plan to discuss with you.
Ideally, we will schedule a follow-up examination two weeks after your pet's initial assessment and treatment appointment.
At this visit, we will instruct you on how to implement teeth brushing at home. We can 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 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 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.
The vet will clean tartar and other debris from your cat's or dog's teeth. If cavities, gingivitis, or other conditions need to be addressed, the vet will explain these to you and provide advice on which actions you should take.
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
Because cats and dogs do not understand what is happening during dental procedures, they will often react by biting or struggling.
Similar to anesthesia provided by dentists to human patients who may be anxious or nervous, our vets in Clackamas provide anesthesia to all of our patients before starting dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to X-Ray their mouth as required.