Veterinary Dentistry & Dental Surgery
Dental Care for Pets
While routine dental care is a key component of cats' and dogs' oral and overall health, but most pets don't receive the oral hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our veterinary hospital in Suffolk County, we offer complete dental care for your pet, from basics such as dental exams, teeth cleanings and polishing to dental X-Rays and surgeries.
We are also passionate about providing dental health education to pet owners about an at-home dental care routine for their pets.
Dental Surgery in Suffolk County
We understand that learning your pet needs dental surgery can feel daunting. 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 make sure your pet's experience with us is comfortable and easy. We'll review each step of the process with you before the procedure, including any requirements for preparation and post-operative care.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Similar to your annual checkup at the dentist, your dog or cat should see us annually for a dental examination. Pets who are more prone to dental issues than others may need to come in more often.
Our vets at Deer Park 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.
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Tartar buildup
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Bad breath
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
Before your pet's dental exam, a thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be completed.
We will take blood and urine analyses to make sure it's safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia. Other diagnostics, such as chest radiographs or an EKG may also be conducted.
Once your pet is under anesthesia, we will examine their mouth tooth-by-tooth and record the results on a dental chart.
The next step is to clean and polish the teeth, including under the gum line, and take X-Rays. A fluoride solution will then be applied to each tooth.
Finally, the veterinarian will apply a dental sealant to keep plaque from attacking the enamel. If advanced periodontal disease is discovered, the vet will then create a treatment plan and review it with you.
Ideally, a follow-up examination will be booked 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 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 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.
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 going on during dental procedures, they will often react to procedures by biting or struggling.
Similar to the anesthesia provided to human patients who may be anxious or nervous at their dentist's, our Suffolk County vets provide anesthesia to each of our four-legged patients before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to X-Ray their mouth as necessary.
New Patients Welcome
Deer Park Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Suffolk County companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.