The vets at Afford-A-Vet Animal Clinic provide preventive and restorative veterinary dental health care and surgery for cats and dogs.
What is veterinary dental care?
Though routine dental care is a critical component of all dogs' and cats' oral and overall health, most pets don't receive the regular oral hygiene care they require to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our veterinary hospital in Kent, we offer complete dental care services for your pet, from basics including dental exams to teeth cleaning and polishing, surgeries and dental X-rays.
We are also passionate about educating pet owners regarding at-home dental care.
Pet Dental Surgery in Kent
We understand that learning that your pet needs dental surgery can feel overwhelming. We aim to make this process as stress-free as possible, for both you and your pet.
We'll do everything in our power to ensure your pet's experience with us is easy and comfortable. This includes explaining each step of the process in detail before the procedure, such as preparation and requirements for post-operative care.
Our services include tooth extractions and treatment for gum disease for cats and dogs.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Your pet should come in for a dental examination at least annually. Dogs and cats who are more prone to dental problems than others may need to see us more often.
Afford-A-Vet Animal 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.
- Tartar buildup
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Bad breath
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Discoloured teeth
A thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment and a limited oral exam, will be completed for your pet before scheduling their dental cleaning appointment to determine a course of treatment for your pet’s dental health and provide your with estimated costs to anticipate in the care for your pet.
Once the Vet determines that your pet is a good anesthetic candidate, we will partner with you to schedule a dental cleaning appointment for a separate day that works well for you.
We recommend routine blood and urine analyses to ensure it's safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia. Based off the physical exam, additional diagnostics, such as chest radiographs or an ECG may also be recommended or required prior to performing anesthesia with your pet.
Once your pet is under anesthesia, we will conduct a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and chartingg.
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.
If advanced periodontal disease is found, the veterinarian will develop a treatment plan and discuss it with you.
A comprehensive home care plan will be developed for your pet’s specific needs to keep their mouth health and happy until their next cleaning with us.
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, or 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?
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 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 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.
While your pet is under anesthesia, the Vet will complete a thorough and complete oral exam and charting of your pet’s teeth. The Vet Technician will clean tartar and other debris from your pet’s teeth. If cavities, gingivitis, gingival recession, or other conditions need to be addressed, the Vet will call you to explain these condition and provide a plan to treat them. Please be available on the phone number on file as these conditions are often not discovered until a full oral exam can be performed under anesthesia.
Your Vet will recommend special home care for your pet to ensure that they stay comfortable after their procedure 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
Because cats and dogs do not understand what's going on during oral exam and dental procedures, we provide anesthesia so that your pet stays comfortable and allows for the medical team to complete a full evaluation of your pet’s oral health.
Anesthesia is provided to all of our patients during dental procedures. While under anesthesia, your pet is being monitored by medical staff for important vital signs, using state of the art equipment, such as: ECG, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. This ensures that your pet experiences the safest procedure possible and a comfortable recovery.