Veterinary Dentistry & Dental Surgery
The vets at Grande Prairie Animal Hospital provide preventive and restorative veterinary dental health care and surgery for cats and dogs.
Comprehensive Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Routine dental care has a critical role to play in cats' and dogs' oral and general physical health, but most pets do not receive the dental hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our Grande Prairie animal hospital, we provide comprehensive dental care services for your pet, from routine dental exams, teeth cleanings and polishings, to dental x-rays and surgical procedures.
We are also steadfast believers in educating pet owners about the need for at-home dental care and dental health education when it comes to their furry companions.
Dental Surgery in Grande Prairie
We understand it can be distressing to find out that your pet needs dental surgery. We strive to ensure this process is as smooth and stress-free as possible - for both you and your pet.
We'll do everything in our power to ensure your pet has a comfortable experience with us. We will explain each step of the process in detail prior to your pet's procedure, including preparation and post-operative care requirements.
We offer a range of services for dogs and cats, from tooth extractions and gum disease treatment to jaw fracture repair procedures.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
We should see your pet at least once a year for a dental examination. If your cat or dog is more prone to dental health issues, he or she may need to visit more often.
At Grande Prairie Animal Hospital, our veterinarians can identify, diagnose and treat dental health problems in dogs and cats.
It's time for a dental checkup if you see any of these symptoms in your pet:
- Discoloured teeth
- Tartar buildup
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Bad breath
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
We will perform a thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment for your pet before starting the dental exam.
This will include taking blood and urine analysis to ensure your pet does not have any health conditions that would make it dangerous for him or her to have anesthesia.
Chest radiographs, an ECG or other additional diagnostics may also be conducted.
Once your pet has had anesthesia, we will perform a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
During treatment, the vet cleans and polishes the teeth (including below the gum line) and takes x-rays. Fluoride treatment is applied to each tooth.
Finally, a dental sealant is applied to prevent plaque from attacking the enamel. If advanced periodontal disease is discovered, a custom treatment plan will be developed and the vet will discuss it with you.
Two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment, a complimentary follow-up exam will provide the opportunity to discuss how to implement teeth brushing at home.
Your vet can also recommend products to 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 pet dental care.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
Did you know that just like us, our pets can be impacted by tooth decay or periodontal disease as a result of poor oral health?
Plaque sticks to our pets' teeth, too. If it's not brushed away regularly, it can build up into tartar, which can lead to infections in the mouth, tooth decay, periodontal disease and loose or missing teeth.
Therefore, regular dental care is vital to preventing disease or pain in the gums.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Did you know that your pet's behaviour may indicate oral health problems? If your pet is experiencing oral health issues, they may paw at their teeth or mouth. You may also notice them drool excessively (the drool may contain blood or pus).
Excessive yawning, an interruption in grooming, or teeth grinding are other signs they should see a vet.
When it comes to appearance and scent, discoloured teeth, bad breath and swollen gums are telltale symptoms. If they are suffering from pain, they may stop eating. Find out more about symptoms to the left under Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams - Symptoms.
- What long-term problems can poor oral health potentially cause in my pet?
Oral health issues and conditions can result in cavities, bad breath, severe periodontal disease and more.
Long-term, they can lead to heart, kidney and liver disease, as well as conditions in other areas of your pet's body. Tumours or cysts can develop.
Your pet's general health may decline and he or she will become more uncomfortable (think toothaches that can impact their mood). Diseases associated with oral health conditions may also shorten his or her lifespan and result in significant pain.
This is why regular dental care plays such an important role in your pet's physical health and well-being.
- What happens during a pet teeth cleaning appointment?
During your pet's regular teeth cleaning appointment, the vet will inspect his or her mouth to look for any signs of oral health conditions, or symptoms that require treatment.
Tartar and other debris will be cleaned from the teeth. If your cavities, gingivitis or other conditions have developed, the vet will explain these in detail and provide recommendations for next steps.
In some cases, serious conditions will require surgery to treat. Before a dental procedure, your pet will be given anesthesia to ensure they are comfortable and will not experience any pain. However, you'll need to provide special care after the procedure and carefully follow the vet's post-op instructions.
Schedule a dental appointment with us if you notice any of these symptoms in your pet.
- What should I do at home to keep my pet’s teeth clean between dental appointments?
When it comes to at-home oral health care for your pet, brush his or her teeth regularly and provide dental chew toys to help eliminate plaque.
Prevent them from chewing on things that can damage their teeth, such as objects or toys that are too hard, or bones. Feel free to contact your veterinarian with any questions or concerns about your pet's oral health.
Veterinary Dentistry: Anesthesia & Your Pet's Oral Health
Because cats and dogs do not understand what is going on during dental procedures, they will often react by biting or struggling. That's why we provide anesthesia to all of our patients before performing dental procedures. This places less stress on the animals and allows us to x-ray their mouth as required.