Comprehensive Veterinary Dentistry
Routine veterinary dentistry and at-home hygiene are key aspects of your dog or cat's oral and overall health. Unfortunately, most pets don't actually get the oral health care they need in order to keep their gums and teeth clean and healthy.
At our Murfreesboro 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 are also passionate about providing dental health education to each of our clients, helping them create an at-home oral hygiene routine that works for them and their pets.
Dental Surgery in Murfreesboro
We know that discovering your pet needs dental surgery can be an overwhelming experience. Because of this, we strive to make this process as stress-free as possible both for you and your pet.
We will do all that we can to make sure your pet's experience with us is comfortable and easy. We will explain each step of the process to you in detail before your procedure, including post-operative care and special preparations your pet will need at home.
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 with your human dentist, your cat or dog should visit our hospital for a dental examination at least once each year. Pets that are more prone to developing oral health issues may need to see us more often.
Animal Medical Center 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.
- Discolored teeth
- Tartar buildup
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food from the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Bad breath
A comprehensive pre-anesthetic physical examination will be completed for your pet before their routine 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.
After your pet is under the effects of anesthesia, we will complete a comprehensive oral examination of each tooth in addition to charting.
We will clean and polish each of your pet's teeth next (both above and below the gum line) as well as take dental X-rays. Then we will apply a protective 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 Veterinary Dentistry
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from our clients 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 our own mouths, when our pets eat, plaque sticks to their teeth and can build up into tartar if not brushed away.
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 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 issues in your dog or cat may include swollen gums, tooth discoloration, and bad breath. Some pats may even suffer from significant enough discomfort or pain that they stop eating altogether. Read more about possible symptoms to the left under Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams.
- What long-term problems can poor oral health potentially cause in my pet?
In addition to causing health issues including bad breath, cavities, and periodontal disease, our pets' oral health issues can spread illness throughout their body, causing disease in their heart, liver, kidneys, and other areas of their 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 my pet's 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 instances, surgery will be important to make sure your pet's serious condition is treated properly. Your pet will be provided with anesthesia to ensure they are comfortable and won't experience any pain. Special care will be required once they are able to return home after 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
Dogs and cats don't understand what is helping during a dental procedure. Because of this, they will generally react quite negatively by biting or struggling.
Similar to the anesthesia provided to nervous or anxious patients by dentists, our Murfreesboro 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.