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Veterinary Dentistry

Did you know dental disease is the most common condition seen in dogs and cats? It's estimated that nearly 80% of pets have some stage of dental disease by the age of three.

If you've noticed bad breath in your pet, this is one of the first signs! Along with the foul odor that you smell on your pet's breath, oral bacteria can make its way to your pet's vital bodily systems infecting the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys, and cause overall pain and discomfort.

Signs of Dental Disease:

  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Discolored Teeth
  • Your pet shies away from you when you touch the mouth area
  • Drooling or dropping food from the mouth
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Loss of appetite or loss of weight*

*This combination can be the result of other serious medical issues as well, and early veterinary examination is crucial.

A dental assessment is the first step to protect your pet against dental disease. At your pet's next wellness visit, we'll take a close look at your pet's teeth and gums to assess the degree of dental disease, and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. As a general rule, we recommend yearly dental exams, and dental cleanings yearly or bi-yearly.

Once digital radiographs are taken and a full mouth exam is performed, teeth are often found to be severely diseased and extractions may be needed. This is what is best for your pet's health, and we always perform these procedures with proper pain control so that your pet is as comfortable as possible.

Professional cleaning with an ultrasonic scaler and full mouth x-rays are valuable tools to promote oral health. Professional dental cleaning removes the dental plaque and tartar that can cause periodontal disease. The dental deposits are removed by power (ultrasonic) and hand dental scalers. Following scaling, the teeth are polished to remove residual plaque and to smooth the surface of the tooth (which delays deposition of plaque and tartar subsequently). The mouth is rinsed to remove debris prior to a final inspection. A plaque-preventative material may be applied to the teeth.

Oral surgery may be recommended if your pet's dental disease is advanced, to fully alleviate pain and eliminate any and all infection. The clinical team at Skippack Animal Hospital is trained to safely perform a range of routine extractions and major oral surgeries.

At-Home Care will be recommended once a veterinarian assesses and treats your pet. Routine brushing is the best method of prevention, but our pets don't always agree or cooperate. If this is the case, there are lots of great dental alternatives like rinses, chews, and toys. As the pet owner, you will be provided with recommendations for daily home oral hygiene for your dog or cat, as well as a recommendation for a follow-up examination.