Comprehensive Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
At our New York 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.
Routine dental care is essential for cats' and dogs' oral and general health, yet most pets do not receive the oral hygiene treatment they require to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
We also make a point of providing dental health education to pet owners about home dental care for their pets.
Pet Dental Surgery in New York
We understand that finding out that your pet needs dental surgery can be overwhelming. We strive to make this process as stress-free as possible, for you and for your pet.
We'll do everything we can to make your pet's stay with us as pleasant and easy as possible. Before the operation, we will go through each stage of the procedure with you in detail, including the preparatory and post-operative care needs.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Much like your annual checkup at the dentist, your dog or cat should come in for a dental examination at least once a year. Pets who are more prone to dental problems than others may need to see us more often.
Rivergate Veterinary Clinic 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.
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Bad breath
- Tartar buildup
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food from the mouth
A thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be completed for your pet before the dental exam.
We will do blood and urine tests to confirm that anesthetic is safe for your pet. Additional tests, such as chest radiography or an ECG, may be performed.
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.
Finally, a dental sealant is applied to prevent plaque from adhering to the enamel. If extensive periodontal disease is discovered, the veterinarian will devise a treatment plan and consult with you on it.
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 Dog & Cat Dental Care
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from our patients about dog and cat dental care.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
Poor oral health might lead to periodontal disease or tooth rot in our dogs. When animals eat, plaque adheres to their teeth, and if not cleaned away on a regular basis, it can harden into tartar.
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 symptoms of oral health issues include poor breath, swollen gums, and tooth discoloration. Some dogs may have discomfort that prevents them from eating. More information about symptoms may be found on the left under Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams.
- 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 pet dental care is so essential to animals' physical health and wellbeing.
- What happens during pet teeth cleaning appointments?
During your pet’s regular oral exam, the pet dentist will examine their mouth and look for oral health conditions or any symptoms needing treatment.
The vet will remove tartar and other debris from your cat's or dog's teeth. If cavities, gingivitis, or other problems need to be addressed, the vet will explain them to you and advise you on what steps to take.
Surgery may be required in rare situations to treat severe conditions. Anesthesia will be administered to your pet prior to the dental treatment to ensure that they are comfortable and pain-free. However, extra care will be required following 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 New York 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.
New Patients Welcome
Rivergate Veterinary Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of New York companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.