Dental Care - Protect Your Pet's Smile And Their Overall Health

Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent periodontal disease and the effects it can have on your pet’s health. While we don’t think about our pet’s teeth until we’re blown away by their bad breath, the bacteria that linger in their mouth can circulate through their bloodstream, endangering their heart, kidneys or liver. In fact, organ infection and failure can often be tracked back to rotten teeth and inflamed gums.

To maintain good dental health, Hawthorne Animal Hospital recommends that every pet receives a dental exam and cleaning under anesthesia each year. Our veterinarians and technicians will not only polish up your pet’s pearly whites, but also perform an extensive examination of each and every tooth to uncover any underlying conditions that could threaten your pet’s well-being. In addition, we perform cat and dog dental surgery if a problem is uncovered.

Why Sedation is Important for a Dental Cleaning Exam​

If you’ve ever tried to brush your pet’s teeth (which you should be doing two to three times a week!), you know getting a wiggly dog or cat to sit still is frustrating for you both. While you can eventually scrub away some of the tartar and plaque with a little hard work, it’s impossible for any pet parent to get below the gum line where most of the dangerous bacteria hide out.

At Hawthorne, all dental procedures are done under anesthesia to provide a stress-free dental exam for your pet and allow for a thorough cleaning. When your pet is sedated, they will receive continual oxygen and IV fluids during their treatment, and their heartrate will be continually monitored by a Doppler device.

Every Dental Exam Includes the Following:

  • Digital x-rays of each tooth so that your veterinarian can identify any issues at the crown and roots
  • Removal of tartar and plaque buildup at and below the gum line
  • Examination of the gums, tongue and palette to look for signs of tumors or abscesses
  • Extraction of any infected teeth to eliminate pain and decay
  • A thorough cleaning and polishing to protect your pet’s beautiful smile
  • Dog dental surgery and cat dental surgery if required

After your pet’s cleaning, your veterinarian will review all the procedures that were performed and share recommendations for continued dental care. If any infection was found or any teeth extracted, your pet will be prescribed an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory to reduce any pain in the day ahead. While your pet may be drowsy in the hours to follow, they should be back to their normal self within 24 hours.

Don’t let an undiscovered tooth infection put your pet’s entire health at risk! Schedule their yearly dental exam today at 618-288-3971.

Most veterinary clinics only perform oral exams and film X-rays. Hawthorne’s full-mouth digital X-rays can detect hidden problems on the spot, from infected roots to hairline jaw fractures.

Tips for At-Home Dental Care to Start Today

  • Ideally, brush your pet’s teeth daily or at least twice a week
  • Use a pet-specific toothbrush and toothpaste (never use human toothpaste on your pet!)
  • Brush your pet’s teeth, gums and cheeks
  • Be sure to get the back molars and canines, especially around the gum line
  • Offer your pet dental chew toys that help remove tartar and plaque
  • If you find a bump or abscess, contact your vet as soon as possible

Did You Know? 85% of dogs over age 4 have some form of gum disease?