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pet dentistry

Your pet’s dentistry needs are very important to us at Claws & Paws Veterinary Hospital, and before anesthesia and any surgical procedure, our doctors perform a complete physical examination on your pet. Click here to view what our complete physical examination consists of, as described by Dr. Julie Wickel.

In addition, we recommend a pre-anesthetic blood screening, just as your human doctor would do. It can detect many potential problems and increases the anesthetic safety of your pet. Pre-anesthetic bloodwork is required for all pets five years old and older. All potential problems noted in the physical examination or the bloodwork result in a phone call to you and are thoroughly discussed at that time.

Unlike us humans, pets must be unconscious for dental procedures. We use isoflurane gas which is one of the safest anesthetic gases in use today. We feel very comfortable using this on our elderly patients as well. For more info on why sedation is required, click here.

​​​​​​​Just like your human dentist, we use many of the same tools and procedures:

  • A periodontal probe is used to check for loose teeth, root exposure, gum disease, and rotten teeth

  • We remove the tartar build-up and then polish the teeth with an ultrasonic polisher

  • Fluoride applications are administered to every pet

  • Tooth extractions may be necessary for badly infected or broken teeth

  • Dental polymer bonding can be used to help re-attach teeth to gums

  • Digital x-rays to check for hidden disease and abscesses

Our doctors examine your pet’s teeth and gums semi-annually (as part of their complete physical examination) to determine if a dental cleaning or extraction procedure needs to be performed. Typically, a dental cleaning does not need to be performed before age two in most pets.

Imagine not brushing your teeth for 7-10 years (the equivalent number of human years equal to one year for your pet).

Not brushing or cleaning your pet’s teeth can cause:

  • Severe gum infection leading to tooth loss

  • Swallowing and inhaling bacteria, allowing the infection to occur elsewhere (Heart, Lung, Liver, or Kidney infection)

  • Acute pain while eating

  • Bad breath

We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth three times per week. Having trouble getting your pet to cooperate? Click here. If you still need help, call us, we’ll talk you through it.

Some teeth-friendly products include:

  • Science Diet T/D treats help reduce tartar build-up

  • CET chews contain special enzymes that help reduce tartar

We know you take your pet’s dentistry needs seriously, and we want you to know that we do too.

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