Comprehensive Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Routine dental care is key to both your cat's or dog's oral and overall health. However, most pets don't actually receive the oral hygiene they need in order to have healthy teeth and gums throughout their lives.
At our Astoria 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 provide dental health education to pet owners about at-home dental care for their companions.
Dental Surgery in Astoria
We know that discovering your pet requires dental surgery can be a daunting prospect. However, we work to ensure that the process remains as stress-free as possible for both you and your pet.
We'll do everything we can to ensure your pet's experience with us is comfortable and easy. We'll break down each step of the process to 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 your own annual checkup at the dentist, your cat or dog should come in for a dental examination at least once per year. Pets who are more prone to oral health issues should come in for checkups with us more often than that, though.
Steinway Court Veterinarian 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.
- Discolored teeth
- Bad breath
- Tartar buildup
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
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 under the effects of anesthesia, we will conduct a complete oral examination as well as 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.
The last step is to apply a dental sealant to your pet's teeth in order to prevent plaque from attaching to your enamel. If we detect advanced periodontal disease or other oral health issues, our vets will develop a treatment plan and discuss it with you in detail.
Ideally, a follow-up examination will be scheduled two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment.
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 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 cause infections in your pet's mouth, tooth decay, periodontal disease and even loose or lost teeth. Because of this, routine dental care is critical to preventing pain and disease in your companion.
- 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?
On top of causing issues from bad breath to cavities, oral health issues and conditions can also affect other parts of your pet's body. Disease ins pets' kidneys, liver, heart and other organs have all been linked to different oral health issues.
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.
Our vet will clean the tartar and food debris from your pet's mouth. If we detect cavities, gum disease or another condition that needs attention, we will explain them to you and provide advice on what action should be taken.
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
Dogs and cats don't understand what is happening to then during a dental procedure and will often react fearfully, by struggling or biting.
Similar to the anesthesia provided to nervous or anxious patients by dentists, our Astoria vets provide anesthesia to all of our patients before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to x-ray their mouth as needed.