Veterinary Dentistry & Dental Surgery
Comprehensive Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Routinely scheduled dental healthcare is a key aspect of both dogs' and cats' oral and overall health. However, most pets don't actually get the oral hygiene care they need to keep their gums and teeth healthy throughout their lives.
At our Bellevue 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.
We also make a point of providing veterinary dentistry health education to pet owners about home dental care for their pets.
Dental Surgery in Bellevue
We know that discovering your pet requires dental surgery can be an overwhelming experience. Because of this, our vets strive to make the dental; surgery process as stress-free as possible both for you and for your pet.
We will do everything we can to make sure your experience with us is comfortable and easy. We will walk through each step foi the process with you in detail before the procedure, including preparation and post-operative care requirements.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Just like at your own annual dental checkup, your cat or dog should come in for an examination at least once per year. Pets who are more prone to dental health issues than others may need to see us more often than that though.
Aerowood 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
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- 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 urine and blood tests to make sure that it is safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia as part of their dental assessment. Extra diagnostics, such as chest radiographs or an ECG may also be conducted.
Once your pet is under anesthesia, we will conduct a complete veterinary dentistry examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
After this, your pet's teeth are both cleaned and polished above and below their gum line. We will also take x-rays and apply a fluoride treatment to each of their teeth.
The final step is to apply a dental sealant to prevent plaque from attaching to the enamel. If advanced periodontal disease is found, the veterinarian will develop a treatment plan and discuss it with you.
We will schedule a follow-up examination, ideally two weeks from the initial appointment and treatment.
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 Veterinary Dentistry & 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 may cause infections in your pet's mouth, periodontal disease and even missing and losses teeth. This means that regular dental care is key to preventing disease and pain in your companion'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.
Your pet may develop cysts or tumors. They may also feel generally unwell as they experience dental pain or discomfort. Additionally, diseases related to oral health conditions can shorten the lifespan of your pet and cause them serious 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 instances, surgery will be required in order to treat serious dental conditions. Your pet will be provided with anesthesia before their procedure to keep them as comfortable as possible and minimize their pain. However, after the surgery they will require special care.
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.
Like the anesthesia that is given to anxious patients by human dentists, our Bellevue vets provide anesthesia to all of our patients before performing dental procedures. This places less stress on animals and allows our team to x-ray, examine and clean their mouth as is needed.
New Patients Welcome
At Aerowood Animal Hospital, we are always accepting new patients. Our experienced veterinary team is passionate about the health of companion animals in the Bellevue area and can't wait to welcome you and your pet to our veterinary family.