At Providence Animal Hospital, we provide quality veterinary dental care for cats and dogs in Charlotte.
Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
At Providence Animal Hospital, we offer complete dental care, including cleaning and polishing teeth, dental x-rays, dental surgeries, and client education on home dental care.
Dental care is an important part of your pet's overall health because dental disease can be associated with other serious health problems such as heart disease and kidney disease.
Whether your pet is visiting us for an exam and cleaning or undergoing dental surgery, anesthesia allows your veterinarian to perform dental procedures with minimal stress and pain for the patient. Rest assured, before going under anesthesia your pet will always be evaluated first to ensure it is safe for them. Your pet will also be continuously monitored while under anesthesia.
Annual Cleanings & Exams
Your pet should visit a veterinarian for a dental appointment at least once a year. Some dogs and cats are more prone to dental problems and may need to visit more often.
At Providence Animal Hospital, our experienced veterinarians will manage your pet's dental needs by assessing their symptoms and recommending treatment options.
If you notice that your dog or cat is experiencing any of these following symptoms, a dental checkup is in order.
- Bad breath
- Loose or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Discoloured teeth
- Tartar buildup
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
First, a thorough pre-anesthetic physical exam will be performed on your pet. Blood and urine analyses will be evaluated to ensure it is safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia. Additional diagnostics will also be conducted, if needed.
Once your pet is safely under anesthesia, a full oral examination (tooth-by-tooth) and charting is performed.
While your pet is still safely under anesthesia, we clean and polish the crowns of the teeth and under the gum line. Each tooth is probed and radiographed. A fluoride treatment is then applied to each tooth.
Finally, a dental sealant is applied to retard the attachment of plaque. If advanced periodontal disease is found, a treatment plan will be developed and discussed with you at the end of the day.
Pet Dental Care FAQs
To learn more about dental care for pets here at Providence Animal Hospital, browse the answers to our most frequently asked questions :
What is the difference between periodontitis and gingivitis?
Gingivitis and periodontitis are different stages of gum disease. Periodontal disease (gum disease) affects the tissues that support teeth and if it is left untreated can lead to tooth loss and other oral health issues.
Periodontal disease in pets begins when plaque develops on the surface of their teeth. Plaque is colorless and often difficult for pet-parents to detect. Once plaque builds-up on your pets teeth the minerals naturally found in saliva will attach to the plaque and begin forming tartar.
Gradually bacteria will begin to spread under the gums, causing an inflammation known as gingivitis. Once under the gums, bacteria may then begin to destroy the tissues that support your pet's teeth, leading to tooth loss. This stage is known as periodontitis.
Caring for your dog or cat's dental health is vital to their overall health since bacteria from the mouth is able to travel through your pet's bloodstream to their vital organs, where it can lead to system failures and potentially deadly conditions.
What are some common cat & dog dental problems?
Some of the most common dental health issues seen in pets include:
- Bad breath
- Tooth discoloration
- Tooth Loss
- Cracked or broken teeth
Is periodontitis common in dogs and cats?
It is estimated that approximately 85 percent of all pets have developed some form of periodontal disease before they reach three years of age. Periodontitis in dogs and cats is very common, making regular maintenance and check-ups an essential part of your pet's preventive health care.
How do I keep my dog or cat's teeth clean?
There are a number of ways to help keep your pet's teeth clean and healthy.
Using a finger brush from your vet or a child's toothbrush, begin brushing your pet's teeth daily to remove any debris.
Your vet may recommend a plaque prevention product which can be applied to your pet's teeth and gums. These products adhere to the surface of your pet's teeth and form a barrier that will help to prevent plaque buildup.
There are also certain treats and pet foods available that have been designed to help prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar.
What will happen at my pet's dental appointment?
When you bring your dog or cat to see us for a dental appointment, it's much like when you visit the dentist for a cleaning or treatment. We make every effort to ensure that your pet is comfortable during their dental visit to Providence Animal Hospital.
Our treatment room has specialized veterinary dental equipment including high-speed dental units and anesthesia monitoring and delivery equipment to make your dog or cat's dental appointment as fast, convenient, and stress-free as possible for both you and your pet.
- First your dog or cat will be anesthetized and your veterinarian will thoroughly examine their mouth. Your pet dentist will take note of your pet's tooth alignment and the extent of tartar accumulation both above and below the gumline.
- X-rays will be done to fully assess the condition of a diseased, decayed or damaged tooth. If your dog or cat's periodontal disease is severe, the affected teeth may need to be extracted.
- To clean your dog or cat's teeth, scaling will be performed to remove all traces of tartar, both above and below your pet's gum line.
- Next, your pet's teeth will be polished. A smooth surface on the tooth can help to prevent plaque from sticking to the tooth.
- Depending on your pet's overall oral health, special treatments such as fluoride, antibiotics, or cleaning compounds may be used.
- Depending on the importance of the problematic tooth, and the severity of the periodontal disease, other oral health procedures may be recommended such as guided tissue regeneration and or guided bone regeneration (GTR/GBR).
Oral Surgery for Pets
At Providence Animal Hospital, our experienced veterinarians perform dental surgeries for dogs and cats.
We strive to make your pet's surgical procedure as comfortable and stress free as possible for your pet, and for you, too. We'll talk you through each step of the process, including preparation and post-operative care.
We offer the following dental surgeries for dogs and cats:
- Tooth Extractions
- Treatment of Severe Periodontal (Gum) Disease
- Root Canals
Pet Care After Oral Surgery
Following oral surgery your pet may experience some pain. Your vet will prescribe appropriate antibiotics and pain meds to help your dog or cat feel more comfortable and recover quickly.
Follow your vets instructions regarding all medications. If you have difficulties administering medications to your pet contact us for advice.
Once your pet has recovered from the anesthesia, contact your vet if you see any signs of post-op complications such as:
- Difficulties eating
- Pawing at face
- Swelling or bleeding