Dental Checkups & Surgery
The Importance of Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Implementing a dental health care routine for your cat or dog at home and at annual veterinary appointments is the best way to maintain your animal companion's oral health.
Our experienced staff is also able to provide surgical and general dental services to help restore your pet's dental oral health and treat a wide variety of dog and cat dental care issues such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Common Dental Conditions
A few common health issues that may need to be treated with dental surgery include:
- Tooth decay
- Cracked or broken teeth
- Jaw fractures
- Feline stomatitis
- Severe gum disease (periodontitis)
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint) luxation or dysplasia
Anesthesia & Your Pet's Oral Health
Our vets in Egg Harbor Township provide anesthesia to all of our patients before conducting dental procedures, from surgeries to dental cleanings and exams.
This helps put less stress on the animals, and it also lets us X-ray their mouth as needed.
Dental Surgery for Cats & Dogs
We aim to make the surgical process as stress-free as we can, for both you and your pet. Your vet will describe every detail of the procedure to you including how to prepare your pet for the surgery and the requirements for post-operative care.
Home Care After a Dental Surgery
Based on the type of oral surgery your pet has had, they will require different at-home care, but most animals will require pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications as well as lots of rest in the days following a dental surgery procedure.
Follow all post-operative care instructions provided to you by your vet carefully. If you can't remember a step, contact us for clarification.
Try to keep your pet from doing too much physical activity for at least 48 hours after their procedure. Dental surgery could make your pet's mouth sensitive or prone to injury and infection while it heals, so it's essential to follow your vet's instructions for feeding and watering your cat or dog.
If your pet isn't eating, is rubbing its mouth, or is displaying signs of infection such as bleeding or swelling contact us immediately.
Comprehensive Cat & Dog Dental Care
Regular dental care is an essential part of your pet's overall physical and oral health and wellbeing, but most cats and dogs don't get the dental care they need to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Much like a yearly checkup for humans at the dentist, your dog or cat should be brought to the vet for a dental exam once annually.
Poor oral hygiene in animals could cause infections in the mouth, periodontal disease, tooth decay as well as loose or missing teeth. This makes regular pet dental care an important part of preventing pain or disease in their gums.
Newkirk Family Veterinarians can evaluate, diagnose and treat oral health problems in both cats and dogs.
If you find your pet displaying any of the symptoms below they need a dental exam:
- Bad breath
- Tartar buildup
- Discolored teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
An in-depth pre-anesthetic physical examination will be conducted for your animal companion prior to their dental checkup.
We will complete blood and urine analyses to make sure that it will be safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia. Further diagnostics might also be performed.
Once your pet is under anesthesia, we will conduct a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
Next, we clean and polish their teeth (including under the gum line), we will also take X-rays. We then apply a fluoride treatment to every tooth.
The last step of the process is to apply a dental sealant to prevent the build-up of plaque on their enamel. If your vet discovers advanced periodontal disease they will establish a treatment plan and explain it to you in detail.
We suggest scheduling a follow-up examination two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment.
At this appointment, we will discuss the ways you can implement a tooth brushing routine for your pet at home. We can also recommend a range of products that could help improve your animal friend's oral health.
FAQs About Pet Dental Care
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from our patients about pet dental care.
- What long-term problems can poor oral health potentially cause in my pet?
Other than causing a handful of problems such as cavities, bad breath, and severe periodontal disease, oral health issues can lead to disease in the liver, kidney, heart, and other areas of your pet's body.
Cysts or tumors could develop. Your pet might also feel unwell in general. On top of this diseases related to oral health conditions can shorten your companion's lifespan and cause them significant pain.
This makes routine dental care an essential part of the physical health and wellbeing of animals.
- What happens during pet teeth cleaning appointments?
Throughout your pet’s routine dental exam, your vet will examine their mouth and search for oral health problems or any symptoms that require treatment.
Your vet will clean the tartar and other debris from your furry friend's teeth. If your vet finds cavities, gingivitis, or other conditions that need to be treated, they will explain these to you in detail and provide advice on the actions you should take next.
Sometimes surgery will be required to treat severe conditions. Your cat or dog will be given anesthesia prior to their dental procedure to make sure they will be comfortable and don't experience any pain. However, your companion will require special care following the 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 routine basis and provide them with dental chew toys. These will help get rid of 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.
- What happens during the surgical consultation?
At your pet's surgical consultation, your vet will conduct a physical examination of your pet and perform a range of tests, including blood work, in order to determine the nature of your cat or dog's condition.
Diagnostics could include X-rays, an EKG, an ultrasound, or biopsies. When the test results are back, your vet will establish a plan for surgery and explain it to you.
- Will the surgery and consultation happen on the same day?
It varies. A consultation appointment is needed for testing and examination to determine the nature of your pet’s oral health condition. After getting your pet's diagnostic test results have come back from our lab, we might schedule your pet’s surgery for the same day, or we might have to book the surgery for another day.
- How long will the surgery take?
Dental surgeries can last between 2 and 4 hours, with some differences depending on the type of surgery being conducted and on your pet's condition.
- Does my pet have to stay at the hospital overnight either before or after the surgery?
No. In most situations, dental surgery patients are able to go home by 6 pm on the same day. However, if the patient requires further monitoring overnight, the pet’s owner will need to transport their pet to a local 24-hour emergency facility for the overnight monitoring.
Always Welcoming New Patients
At Newkirk Family Veterinarians, we always accept new patients into our veterinary family. Our veterinarians are passionate about the health and well-being of Egg Harbor Township pets. Contact us today to book your pet's first appointment.