Comprehensive Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Routine dental care is essential for the oral and overall health of cats and dogs, but most pets do not receive the oral hygiene care they require to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
We provide complete dental care for your pet at our Lincoln veterinary hospital, from basic dental exams, teeth cleanings, and polishing to dental x-rays and surgeries.
We also make it a point to educate pet owners about how to care for their pets' teeth at home.
Dental Surgery in Lincoln
We understand how stressful it can be to learn that your pet requires dental surgery. We strive to make this a stress-free experience for both you and your pet.
We'll do everything we can to make your pet's stay with us as pleasant as possible. Before the procedure, we'll go over each step in detail with you, including the preparation and post-operative care requirements.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Your dog or cat should have a dental examination at least once a year, just like you would at the dentist. Pets who are more prone to dental issues than others may require more frequent visits.
Critter Creek Veterinary Hospital 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
- Discolored teeth
Before the dental exam, your pet will undergo a thorough pre-anesthetic physical examination.
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.
We will perform a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting once your pet is anesthetized.
After that, x-rays are taken and the teeth are cleaned and polished (including under the gum line). Each tooth is then given a fluoride treatment.
To prevent plaque from adhering to the enamel, the final step is to apply a dental sealant. If advanced periodontal disease is discovered, the veterinarian will develop and discuss a treatment plan with you.
Two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment, a follow-up examination should be scheduled.
We'll talk about how to brush your teeth at home during this appointment. We can also make recommendations for products that will help your pet's oral health.
FAQs About Pet Dental Care
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 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 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 Tooth 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 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.
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 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.
- 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 regularly 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 don't understand what's going on during dental procedures, they often struggle or bite in response.
Our Lincoln vets administer anesthesia to all of our patients before performing dental procedures, similar to what dentists do for nervous or anxious patients. This causes the animals less stress and allows us to x-ray their mouth as needed.