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The Importance of Pet Dental Care

Dental disease is the most common disease seen by veterinarians: 70–85% of pets over the age of 2 have some form of dental disease.

pet dental care

Dental disease is an often-overlooked threat to the comfort and health of your pet. Because dental disease often has few readily apparent signs, bringing your pet in for a wellness examination is the only way to ensure detection. Following this exam, your veterinarian may recommend a particular dental cleaning schedule, oral care routine, or special treatment based on your pet’s dental health needs.

We also use digital dental X-rays to fully examine your pet’s oral and dental health.

How do I know if my pet has dental disease?

Dental disease is the most common disease seen by veterinarians: 70-85% of pets over the age of 2 have some form of dental disease. Here are some signs that your pet may have dental disease:

  • Bad breath
  • Yellow, brown, or discolored teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Red, inflamed gums
  • Swollen mouth, jaws, or gums
  • Doesn’t play with chew toys as often
  • Pain when eating

It is important to have your pet checked for dental disease, as this disease can have major impacts on your pet’s organs, including the heart, liver, and kidneys.

What about the risks of anesthesia?

Though very small, anesthesia is a very real risk for dogs and cats, just as it is for humans. At AMH, we take care to further reduce the risks of anesthesia by following a proactive protocol to assess our patients and monitor their care throughout the dental procedure, including pre-anesthetic testing, inhalant gas, electronic monitoring, and intravenous fluids.

We perform pre-surgical blood work for each of our patients prior to placing them under anesthesia. Our dental team monitors each patient throughout the dental procedure to ensure the patient is responding appropriately to the anesthesia. We use very safe anesthetics and monitor your pet for any adverse reactions as they recover.

Please remember, the adverse effects of bad teeth on the overall health of the pet greatly outweigh the anesthetic risk.

Does my pet have to stay overnight after the dental procedure?

Generally, routine dentals are an outpatient procedure. Patients check-in between 7 am and 8 am. The procedure is performed in the late morning to early afternoon. Patients are ready to return home after 5 pm the same day. Pets receiving advanced dental procedures with X-rays and extractions are still dismissed the same day.

How long can my pet go between dental cleanings?

Some dogs (usually small breeds) can require a dental up to every 6 months. Some dogs can go 3 to 4 years between dental cleanings. Typically, after the age of 2 or 3, most dogs and cats will need a dental every 1 to 2 years. Assessment by your veterinarian will allow you to discuss your pet’s dental health and if excessive plaque or periodontal disease requires a cleaning.

Remember, good oral hygiene at home increases the time between professional cleanings.

How will dental care benefit my pet?

  • Reduced plaque and tartar
  • Decreased oral infections
  • Helps prevent bad breath
  • Helps prevent heart, liver, and kidney disease as caused by dental disease

How do I schedule a dental appointment?

Please call (704) 334-4684(704) 334-4684 and one of our Client Service Associates will assist you in scheduling a dental appointment for your pet.

"I have always found the staff to be friendly and knowledgeable. The extended hours also make it much easier to fit appointments into my daily life."

— Anonymous