Pet Dental Care in West Salem, OR
Maintaining your dogs' and cats' oral health is a critical part of their overall wellbeing, but most pets don't get the oral hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our West Salem veterinary hospital, we provide complete dental care for your pet, from basics like dental exams, teeth cleanings, and polishing, to dental X-rays and surgeries.
We also ensure that you're well-informed about home dental care for your pets so that they can maintain their 'smile' between visits!
Pet Dental Surgery in West Salem, OR
Discovering that your pet needs dental surgery can be overwhelming. At our clinic, 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 & Dental Exams
Like your annual checkup at the dentist, your dog or cat should be taken 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.
West Salem 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
- Discolored teeth
Before anesthesia, a thorough physical assessment will be completed for your pet prior to the 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.
When your pet is under anesthesia, we will conduct a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
Your cat or dog's teeth are then 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 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 Pet Dental Care
Here are some frequently asked questions that our patients have about pet dental care.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
Just like us, our pets can develop periodontal disease or tooth decay as a consequence of poor oral health.
When animals eat, plaque sticks to their teeth and can build up into tartar if not brushed away regularly.
This can lead to issues like oral infections, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even loose or missing teeth. Regular dental care is essential to preventing pain or disease in the gums.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Your pet's 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.
Some other ways to tell if your pet is having oral hygiene 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 like cavities and bad breath and more serious issues like severe periodontal disease, oral health issues can lead to disease in the liver, kidney, heart, and other areas throughout your pet's body.
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 your pet's' 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 cleans tartar and other debris from your cat's or dog's teeth. If there are issues like cavities, gingivitis, or other conditions, the vet will explain these to you and provide advice on which actions to 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.
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 to 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 get in touch with your vet with any questions or concerns regarding your pet's oral health.
Veterinary Dentistry: Anesthesia & Your Pet's Oral Health
Cats and dogs can't understand what is happening during their dental procedures, and will often react by struggling or biting.
Just like the anesthesia provided to nervous or anxious patients by dentists, our West Salem vets provide anesthesia to all of our patients before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to accurately examine and X-ray their mouth as needed.