Our Broad Street Veterinary Hospital veterinary team provides preventive and restorative pet dental care and surgery to dogs and cats.
Comprehensive Pet Dental Care
Routine dental health care is a key component of a pet's oral and overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, most cats and dogs don't receive the oral hygiene and care they need to keep their gums and teeth healthy.
At our veterinary hospital, we provide comprehensive pet dental care in Richmond, including dental cleanings and polishing, exams, surgeries, and dental X-rays.
We also provide information to pet owners on how to care for their pet's teeth at home.
Pet Dental Surgery in Richmond
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 ensure your pet's experience with us is comfortable and easy. We'll break down each step of the process to you in detail before the procedure, including 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 pet should come in for a dental examination at least once per year. Cats and dogs who are predisposed to developing oral health issues may need to visit more often.
At Broad Street Veterinary Hospital we 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.
- Bad breath
- Discolored teeth
- Tartar buildup
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
We will complete a thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment of your pet before their dental examination.
We will take urine and blood samples for analysis to make sure it is safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia. Additional diagnostics, such as chest radiographs or an ECG may also be conducted.
Once your pet is under anesthesia, we will conduct a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
Next, we will clean and polish each of your teeth above and below the gum line as well as take X-rays. We will apply a fluoride solution to each individual tooth to strengthen their enamel.
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.
A complimentary 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 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 that your pet's behavior can be an excellent indicator of their oral health and if they are experiencing any issues? If your pet is experiencing discomfort or health issues in and around their mouth, they may drool excessively (and the drool may include pus or blood) or paw at their mouth and teeth. They might also yawn more than usual, stop grooming themselves sufficiently, or grind their teeth.
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 general—if you've ever had a toothache you know how painful it can be. 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.
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 anesthesia before their dental procedure to ensure they are comfortable and do not experience any pain. However, special care will be needed post-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 be brushing your pet's teeth regularly as well as providing them with dental chew toys. These will help to eliminate plaque and boost their oral health.
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 Richmond 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.