Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
While routine dental care is a critical component of our cats' and dogs' oral and overall health, most pets don't get the oral hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our veterinary hospital in Woburn, 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 are also passionate bout educating pet owners about pet dental health and home health dental care.
Dental Surgery in Woburn
We understand that it can be daunting to find out that your pet needs dental surgery. We aim to make this process 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 easy and comfortable. We'll break down each step of the process in detail prior to the procedure, including any preparation and post-operative care needs your pet will have.
We offer tooth extractions, gum disease treatment and jaw fracture repair surgeries for cats and dogs.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Similar to your checkup with your dentist, your dog or cat should see us for a dental examination at least once every year. Pets who are more susceptible to dental issues than others may need to come in more often.
Our vets at Woburn 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.
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Tartar buildup
- Discolored teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bad breath
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Bleeding 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 anesthesia, we will conduct 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 our patients about pet dental care.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
If our pets have poor oral health, they may develop tooth decay or periodontal disease.
Similar to their human counterparts, plaque sticks to our animals' teeth when they eat and can build up into tartar if not regularly brushed away.
This may lead to mouth infections, periodontal disease, tooth decay and even loose or missing teeth. That's why regular dental care is essential to preventing gum disease or pain.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Did you know your pet's behavior can indicate oral health problems? If your pet is experiencing dental issues, they may paw at their mouth or teeth, grind their teeth, stop grooming sufficiently or yawn excessively. You may also notice they drool excessively (and the drool may contain pus or blood).
Other signs of oral health issues include swollen gums, bad breath, and tooth discoloration. Some pets may even suffer from pain that keeps them from eating. Learn more about s symptoms under Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams on this page.
- 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
Cats and dogs do not understand what is happening during dental procedures and will often react by biting or struggling.
Similar to the anesthesia human dentists will provide to anxious or nervous patients, our vets in Woburn provide anesthesia to each patient before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to X-ray their mouth as required.