Dental Care for Cats & Dogs in Los Angeles
Routine pet dental care is the cornerstone of your cat or dog's oral and overall health. Unfortunately, most pets don't actually receive the oral hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy, though.
At our veterinary hospital serving the pets of Los Angeles, we are proud to be able to provide complete pet dental services for your cat or dog. We offer basic care like hygiene cleanings and exams, as well as more complex and urgent services, from dental X-rays to restorative surgeries.
We also make a point of providing dental health education to pet owners about home dental care for their pets.
Vet Dental Surgery in Los Angeles
We know that finding out that your pet requires dental surgery can be an overwhelming experience. We strive to make this process as stress-free as possible, both for your pet and for you.
We will do everything we can to help ensure that your pet's experience at Ambassador Dog & Cat Hospital is easy and comfortable when they require dental health care. We will walk through each step of the process with you in detail before your pet's procedure, including any preparation or post-operative care you will have to provide your companion.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Just like your own annual checkup at the dentist, cats and dogs should come in for a dental examination at least once every year. Pets that are more prone to oral health issues than others may need to come in for a checkup more often than that, though.
Ambassador Dog & Cat Hospital can assess, diagnose and provide dog and cat dental care to your pet.
If you notice any of the following symptoms in your pet, it's time for a vet dental checkup.
- Tartar buildup
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bad breath
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Discolored teeth
A thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be completed for your pet before the dental exam.
We will take both urine and blood samples from your pet for analysis to ensure that it's safe for your companion to undergo anesthesia for the procedure. 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, we will clean and polish your pet's teeth both above and below their gum line as well as take X-rays. We will then apply a fluoride treatment to each of their teeth.
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.
At this follow-up appointment, we will speak with you about implementing tooth brushing at home. We will also recommend products that can help to improve your pet's overall and 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 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?
On top of causing health issues like bad breath or cavities and gum disease, oral health issues and associated conditions can lead to disease affecting your pet's internal organs like their kidneys, liver, heart and more.
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 tooth 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.
Our vets will clean that tartar and any other debris from your dog or cat's teeth. If gingivitis, cavities or any other conditions need to be addressed, our vets will explain these to you and provide you with some advice on what 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 going on during dental procedures, and will often react to dental procedures by struggling or biting.
Similar to the anesthesia provided to nervous or anxious patients by dentists, our Los Angeles vet dentists provide anesthesia to all of our patients before performing pet dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to X-ray their mouth as needed.