Our vets here at Washington Dog and Cat Hospital provide preventive and restorative pet dental health care and surgery, so your pet's teeth stay healthy.

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Dental Care: Cats & Dogs

Regular dental care is an important but often forgotten piece of your pet's overall health care. Pets need to have proper oral hygiene to keep their teeth and gums healthy. 

At our Los Angeles veterinary hospital, we provide complete dental care for your pet, from basics such as dental exams, teeth cleanings, and polishing, to dental X-rays and surgeries.

We also advocate for the education of pet owners on the importance of at-home dental care to keep their pets healthy.

Dental Care, Los Angeles Vet

Dental Surgery in Los Angeles

We know how scary it can be to learn that your pet needs dental surgery. We are here to make this process as easy and stress-free as possible for both you and your pet.

Our goal is to ensure we've done everything we can to make this experience as easy and as comfortable as possible for your pet. We are also committed to making sure our pet owners are well informed. We will break down each step of the procedure, from preparation to post-operative care.

We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.

Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams

Proper dental heath starts with regular checkups. Just like your annual visit to the dentist, your pet should visit their cat or dog dentist at least once a year. Some pets are more prone to dental problems and may require more frequent checkups. 

Washington Dog and Cat Hospital can assess, diagnose and treat dental health problems in cats and dogs. 

  • Symptoms

    If you notice any of the following symptoms in your pet, it's time for a dental checkup.

    • Loose and/or broken teeth
    • Bad breath 
    • Discolored teeth 
    • Bleeding from the mouth
    • Tartar buildup
    • Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
    • Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
    • Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food 
    • Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
    Contact Us to Book a Dental Checkup
  • Assessment

    A thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be completed for your pet before the dental exam. 

    We will perform a blood and urine analysis to ensure it's safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia. Additional diagnostics, such as chest X-ray or an ECG may also need to happen. 

    Once your pet is under anesthesia, we will conduct a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting. 

  • Treatment

    Next, the teeth are cleaned and polished (including under the gum line) and X-rays are taken. We then apply a fluoride treatment to each tooth. 

    The final step is to apply a dental sealant to prevent plaque from attaching to the enamel. If advanced periodontal disease is found, the veterinarian will develop a treatment plan and discuss it with you. 

  • Prevention

    Ideally, a follow-up examination will be scheduled two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment. 

    During this visit, we will discuss implementing teeth brushing at home. We can also recommend products that can help improve your pet's oral health. 

FAQs About Pet Dental Care

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from our patients about cat or dog dental care.

  • Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?

    Poor oral health can cause plaque buildup to develop quickly into periodontal disease. 

    Just like in humans, when animals eat, plaque sticks to their teeth and can turn into tartar if not brushed away. 

    This can lead to infections in the mouth, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even loose or missing teeth. Preventing pain or disease in your pet's gums starts with regular dog or cat dental care.

  • How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?

    Behavior can be a tell-tale sign for a lot of issues, including oral health problems. If they are experiencing any oral health issues, they might drool excessively (and the drool may contain pus or blood), or they could be showing signs like pawing at their mouth. Behaviors such as yawning excessively, grinding their teeth, or lack of sufficiently grooming habits are all indicators.

    Other signs of oral health problems include bad breath, swollen gums, and tooth discoloration. Some pets may even suffer from pain that keeps them from eating, so that is a clear sign to look out for. Read more about symptoms to the left under Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams. 

  • What long-term problems can poor oral health potentially cause in my pet?

    Besides causing problems ranging from cavities and bad breath to severe periodontal disease, oral health issues and conditions can lead to disease in the liver, heart, kidney, and other areas throughout your pet's body. 

    Cysts or tumors may develop. Your pet may also not feel like themselves (if you've ever had a toothache, you know how it can affect your mood!). In addition, diseases related to oral health conditions can shorten the lifespan of your pet and cause significant pain. 

    This is why regular dental care is so essential to animals' physical health and wellbeing. 

  • What happens during a pet teeth cleaning appointment?

    During your pet’s regular oral exam, the vet will examine his or her mouth and look for oral health conditions or any symptoms needing treatment.

      The vet will clean tartar and other debris from your cat's or dog's teeth. If cavities, gingivitis, or other conditions need to be addressed, the vet will explain what this means and provide guidance on what to do next. 

      In some cases, surgery will be needed to treat serious conditions. Your pet will be provided with anesthesia before their dental procedure to ensure they are comfortable and do not experience any pain. However, they will require special post-operative care at home. 

      If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule a dental appointment with us. 

    • What should I do at home to keep my pet’s teeth clean between dental appointments?

      At home, you should brush your pet's teeth on a regular basis and give them dental chew toys. These will help eliminate plaque. 

      Do not allow them to chew on things that will damage their teeth, such as bones, toys or objects that are too hard. Always contact your vet with any questions or concerns regarding your pet's oral health. 

    Veterinary Dentistry: Anesthesia & Your Pet's Oral Health

    Cats and dogs may be very scared during dental procedures because they have no way of knowing what is happening resulting in struggling or bitting.

    Similar to the anesthesia provided to nervous or anxious patients by dentists, our Los Angeles vets provide anesthesia to all of our patients before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to X-ray their mouth as needed. 

    Contact Us To Learn More

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