Comprehensive Veterinary Dentistry for Cats & Dogs
Routine dental care is a key component of dogs' and cats' oral and overall health. However, most pets don't actually receive the oral hygiene care they require to help keep their gums and teeth healthy.
At our Goleta 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 make a point of providing our clients with oral health education to help them provide oral healthcare for their pets at home.
Dental Surgery in Goleta
We know that discovering your pet requires dental surgery can be an overwhelming experience. We aim to make this process as straightforward and stress-free as possible for both you and your pet.
We will ensure that your pet's experience with us is as comfortable and easy as possible. We will break down each step of the process with you in detail before starting the procedure. This includes any preparation or post-operative care requirements your pet might have.
We offer tooth extractions and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Just like your own annual checkup with your dentist, your cat or dog should come in for a dental exam at least once per year. Pets that are more prone to oral health issues than others may need to visit us more frequently than that, though.
Goleta Airport Pet 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
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
We will conduct a comprehensive physical assessment of your pet's overall health before their 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 has been placed under general anesthesia, we will conduct a comprehensive oral examination 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 last step is to apply a dental sealant to prevent plaque from attaching to your pet's teeth. If our vets find advanced periodontal disease, we will develop a treatment plan and discuss it with you.
Ideally, we will schedule a follow-up visit for two weeks after the initial appointment and assessment.
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 certain behaviors may indicate oral health problems? If your pet is experiencing dental problems, they may 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 tumors or cysts and feel generally unwell too. If you have ever had a toothache, you will likely know the feeling. In addition to all of this, diseases related to oral health conditions can significantly shorten the lifespan of your pain and cause them serious pain.
This is why regular dental care is so essential to animals' physical health and wellbeing.
- 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 on a regular basis and give them dental chew toys. These will help eliminate plaque.
Don't allow your pet to chew on things that may damage their teeth like toys and objects made of hard materials, or bones. Always be sure to contact your vet if you have any questions or concerns about your pet's oral health and well-being.
Veterinary Dentistry: Anesthesia & Your Pet's Oral Health
Cats and dogs don't understand what is happening during a dental procedure and can often react quite negatively by scratching, struggling or biting.
Similar to the anesthesia provided to nervous or anxious patients by dentists, our Goleta 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.