Comprehensive Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
While routine dental care is vital to cats' and dogs' oral and overall health, most pets don't receive the oral hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our veterinary hospital in Fairfield, NJ, you'll find complete dental care services for your pet, from basics such as dental exams, teeth cleanings, and polishing, to dental X-rays and surgeries.
We are also passionate about educating pet owners about the necessity for home dental care for their pets.
Dental Surgery in Fairfield, NJ
We understand that it can be daunting to learn that your pet needs dental surgery. We strive to make this process as stress-free as possible for both you and your pet.
We'll do everything in our power to ensure your pet's time with us is a calm, comfortable, easy experience. We'll explain each step of the process to you in detail before the procedure, including preparation and post-operative care needs.
We offer tooth extractions, gum disease treatment, and jaw fracture repair surgeries for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Much like your yearly checkup with the dentist, your dog or cat should see us for a dental examination at least annually. Pets who are more prone to dental issues than others may need to come in more often.
Our vets at All Creatures Great and Small Animal Hospital can evaluate, diagnose and treat dental health problems in cats and dogs.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, it's time to schedule a dental checkup.
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Bad breath
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Tartar buildup
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Discolored teeth
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food from the mouth
The vet will complete a thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment before your pet's dental exam.
Blood and urine analyses will also be taken to ensure your pet can safely undergo anesthesia. Additional diagnostics, such as chest radiographs or an ECG may also be conducted.
Once your pet has been put under anesthesia, we will perform 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.
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.
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 we've received from patients about pet dental care.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
If an animal has poor oral health, it may develop tooth decay or periodontal disease.
Similar to humans, when our pets eat, plaque attacks their teeth and can build up into tartar if not regularly brushed away.
This can lead to tooth decay, infections in the mouth, periodontal disease, or even loose or missing teeth. That's why regular dental care is critical to preventing pain or disease in the gums.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Your pet's behavior may point to oral health problems. If your pet is experiencing dental issues, you may notice them pawing at their teeth or mouth, or yawning excessively. They may also stop grooming sufficiently or drool excessively (and the drool may contain blood or pus).
Other symptoms of oral health problems include tooth discoloration, swollen gums, or bad breath. Some pets may even suffer from pain that keeps them from eating. Learn more about symptoms under Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams on this page.
- What long-term problems can poor oral health potentially cause in my pet?
Unfortunately, the impact of oral health issues doesn't stop at the mouth with potential bad breath, cavities, and severe periodontal disease. Untreated problems can lead to disease in the heart, liver, kidney, and other organs and areas in your pet's body.
Tumors or cysts may develop. Your pet may also feel generally unwell (if you've ever had a toothache, you understand how it can affect your mood!). Diseases related to oral health conditions can shorten your pet's lifespan and cause significant physical pain.
This is why regular dental care is so integral to animals' physical health and well-being.
- What happens during pet teeth cleaning appointments?
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 regularly 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 dogs and cats do not understand what is happening during dental procedures, they will often react by biting or struggling.
Similar to the anesthesia human dentists offer to anxious or nervous patients, our vets in Fairfield, NJ 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 as required.