Our veterinarians provide quality preventive dental care for cats and dogs in Westport.
Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
At Westport Veterinary Associates, we offer complete dental care, including cleaning and polishing teeth, dental x-rays, dental surgeries, and client education on home dental care.
Preventive veterinary dental care is a vital part of your pet's overall health because dental disease can be associated with other serious health problems such as heart disease and kidney disease.
Anesthesia allows your veterinarian to perform dental procedures with minimal stress and pain for the patient, whether your pet is visiting us for an exam and cleaning or undergoing dental surgery. We will always evaluate your pet to ensure it is safe for them, and your pet will be continuously monitored while under anesthesia.
Annual Cleanings & Exams
Your pet should visit a veterinarian for a dental appointment at least once a year, although some dogs and cats are more prone to dental problems and may need to visit more often.
At Westport Veterinary Associates, our experienced veterinarians will manage your pet's dental needs by assessing their symptoms and recommending treatment options.
A dental checkup is in order if you notice that your dog or cat experiencing any of these following symptoms:
- Bad breath
- Loose or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Tartar buildup
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
A thorough pre-anesthetic physical exam will be performed on your pet. Blood and urine analyses, as well as additional diagnostics as needed, are evaluated to ensure it is safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia.
Once your pet is safely under anesthesia, a full oral examination (tooth-by-tooth) and charting is performed.
While your pet is still safely under anesthesia, we clean and polish the crowns of the teeth and under the gum line. Each tooth is probed and radiographed, and a fluoride treatment is applied to each tooth.
Finally, a dental sealant is applied to retard the attachment of plaque. If advanced periodontal disease is found, a treatment plan will be developed and discussed with you at the end of the appointment.
Veterinary Dental Care FAQs
To learn more about preventive dental care for pets here at Westport Veterinary Associates, browse the answers to our most frequently asked questions :
What is the difference between periodontitis and gingivitis?
Gingivitis and periodontitis are two different stages of gum disease. Periodontal disease (gum disease) affects the tissues that support teeth and, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss and other oral health issues.
Periodontal disease in pets begins when plaque develops on the surface of their teeth. Plaque is colorless and often difficult for pet-parents to detect. Once plaque builds-up on your pets teeth the minerals naturally found in saliva will attach to the plaque and begin forming tartar.
Gradually bacteria will begin to spread under the gums, causing an inflammation known as gingivitis. Once under the gums, bacteria may then begin to destroy the tissues that support your pet's teeth, leading to tooth loss. This stage is known as periodontitis.
Caring for your dog or cat's dental health is vital to their overall health since bacteria from the mouth is able to travel through your pet's bloodstream to their vital organs, where it can lead to system failures and potentially deadly conditions.
What are some common cat & dog dental problems?
Some of the most common dental health issues seen in pets include:
- Bad breath
- Tooth discoloration
- Tooth Loss
- Cracked or broken teeth
Is periodontitis common in dogs and cats?
It is estimated that approximately 85 percent of all pets have developed some form of periodontal disease before they reach three years of age. Periodontitis in dogs and cats is very common, making regular maintenance and check-ups an essential part of your pet's preventive health care.
How do I keep my dog or cat's teeth clean?
There are a number of ways to help keep your pet's teeth clean and healthy.
Using a finger brush from your vet or a child's toothbrush, begin brushing your pet's teeth daily to remove any debris.
Your vet may recommend a plaque prevention product which can be applied to your pet's teeth and gums. These products adhere to the surface of your pet's teeth and form a barrier that will help to prevent plaque buildup.
There are also certain treats and pet foods available that have been designed to help prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar.
What will happen at my pet's dental appointment?
When you bring your dog or cat to see us for a dental appointment, it's much like when you visit the dentist for a cleaning or treatment. We make every effort to ensure that your pet is comfortable during their dental visit to Providence Animal Hospital.
Our treatment room has specialized veterinary dental equipment including high-speed dental units and anesthesia monitoring and delivery equipment to make your dog or cat's dental appointment as fast, convenient, and stress-free as possible for both you and your pet.
- First your dog or cat will be anesthetized and your veterinarian will thoroughly examine their mouth. Your pet dentist will take note of your pet's tooth alignment and the extent of tartar accumulation both above and below the gumline.
- X-rays will be done to fully assess the condition of a diseased, decayed or damaged tooth. If your dog or cat's periodontal disease is severe, the affected teeth may need to be extracted.
- To clean your dog or cat's teeth, scaling will be performed to remove all traces of tartar, both above and below your pet's gum line.
- Next, your pet's teeth will be polished. A smooth surface on the tooth can help to prevent plaque from sticking to the tooth.
- Depending on your pet's overall oral health, special treatments such as fluoride, antibiotics, or cleaning compounds may be used.
- Depending on the importance of the problematic tooth, and the severity of the periodontal disease, other oral health procedures may be recommended such as guided tissue regeneration and or guided bone regeneration (GTR/GBR).
At Westport Veterinary Associates, our experienced veterinarians perform dental surgeries for dogs and cats.
We strive to make your pet's surgical procedure as comfortable and stress free as possible for both you and your pet. We'll talk you through each step of the surgery process, including preparation and post-operative care.
We offer these dental surgeries for dogs and cats:
- Tooth Extractions
- Treatment of Severe Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Pet Care After Oral Surgery
Following oral surgery, your pet may experience some pain. Your vet will prescribe appropriate antibiotics and pain meds to help your dog or cat feel more comfortable and recover quickly.
Follow your vet's instructions regarding prescribed medications. If you have any difficulties administering medications to your pet, contact us for advice.
Once your pet has recovered from the anesthesia, contact us if you see any signs of post-op complications such as:
- Difficulties eating
- Pawing at face
- Swelling or bleeding