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FAQ Pet Dental Care

Teeth Cleaning and Treatment Answers from Our Lakewood Veterinarian

How frequently do I need to schedule pet teeth cleaning? Our Lakewood veterinarian recommends annual pet teeth cleaning and pet dental examinations for most adult animals. Smaller breeds may require more frequent attention, however, while senior pets' teeth often develop age-related disorders that may benefit from more frequent cleaning and care.

Why does my pet need anesthesia for dental work? Like so many humans in the dental chair, many pets become understandably agitated when subjected to any kind of dental procedure, including a simple pet teeth cleaning. General anesthesia calms the animal and prevents him from accidentally injuring himself during the procedure.

Should my pet receive anesthesia-free dental scaling or traditional periodontal therapy? Traditional teeth scaling under general anesthesia is usually more beneficial for the pet. As noted above, anesthesia helps the patient remain still so our Lakewood veterinarian can perform the procedure as gently and carefully as possible. While some pets may be completely unable to withstand anesthesia for medical reasons, in most cases we can customize the type and amount of anesthesia used to help ensure the pet's safety.

When do you prescribe antibiotics for pet dental procedures? Antibiotics are a good idea whenever an infection exists or an open wound permits the possibility of infection. Bacteria can cause not only tooth decay and gum disease but also systemic infections throughout the body.

Do I need to treat my dog's chipped or broken tooth even if it doesn't cause him pain? Any kind of damage that exposes the tooth's inner pulp chamber requires immediate dental treatment. Cracks or breaks in tooth enamel can open the door to dangerous infections, and obvious symptoms may not present themselves until the infection is quite severe.

Isn't extraction an extreme method for dealing with pet dental problems, as opposed to other solutions? That depends on the degree of deterioration that has occurred. A severely deteriorated tooth may have little support from the jawbone or surrounding tissues, and it may be impossible to salvage such a tooth. A severely infected tooth may present imminent danger to the other teeth. In these cases, extraction may be the only sensible treatment solution for your pet.

Can my pet eat normally and enjoy his crunchy treats after an extraction? Your pet's gums and jawbone need to heal thoroughly following an extraction, so our Lakewood veterinarian typically recommends a diet of soft foods for a couple of weeks. After his recuperation, your pet should have little difficulty munching on his favorite bones, hard kibble and chew toys.

Your Source for All Your Pet Dental Needs

Our Lakewood veterinarian is always happy to answer owners' questions about their pets dental and general wellness needs. We encourage you to contact Wadsworth Animal Hospital and set up an appointment or pet teeth cleaning session today.