The veterinarians at Saint John Animal Hospital provide the dental care services your dog or cat needs to help restore and maintain good oral health.

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Comprehensive Dental Care for Cats & Dogs

Routine dental care is essential for maintaining the oral health of your pet, yet this facet of preventive care is often neglected. Many pets don't receive the oral healthcare they need, resulting in painful dental issues and periodontal disease.

At our Saint John veterinary hospital, we offer a range of dental care services for pets, from basics such as dental exams, teeth cleanings and polishing, and surgeries.

Our team also takes pride in providing pet parents with the information they need to care for their pet's oral and dental health between visits to our hospital.

Dental Care, Saint John Vet

Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams

Much like your annual checkup at the dentist, your dog or cat should come in for a dental examination at least once a year. 

Dental appointments provide your veterinarian with an opportunity to assess your pet's oral health, diagnose problems and recommend treatment when necessary. 

Here's what to expect at your dog or cat's dental checkup. 

  • Pre-Anesthetic Assessment

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

    Our team will take blood and urine analyses to ensure it's safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia. Additional diagnostics, such as chest radiographs or an ECG may also be conducted if considered necessary. 

  • Administering Anesthesia

    Similar to the anesthesia provided to nervous or anxious patients by dentists, our Saint John veterinarians provide anesthesia to all of our patients before performing dental procedures.

    Anesthesia allows the examination and treatment to be performed efficiently and puts less stress on your pet. 

  • Oral Examination & Cleaning

    Once your pet is under anesthesia, a tooth-by-tooth oral examination and charting will be done. Then your pet's teeth will be cleaned and polished. 

    If dental health issues are uncovered during your pet's oral examination, the veterinarian will develop a custom treatment plan to address their unique condition.

    Treating your dog or cat's dental problem may require dental surgery. Your veterinarian will be sure to discuss their findings with you and review their treatment recommendations with you in detail.

    You will have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. 

  • Follow-up Exam & Home Care

    About two weeks after your pet's dental exam or treatment a follow-up examination may be recommended.

    During the follow-up visit, your veterinary team will discuss implementing an oral health routine for your pet at home. We can also recommend products that may make caring for your pet's oral health easier. 

Dental Surgery for Dogs & Cats

Our Saint John veterinarians perform dental surgery for cats and dogs when required, including tooth extractions and treatment for periodontal disease.

Our team understands that it can be overwhelming to learn that your pet requires dental surgery. We will do all we can to make this process as stress-free as possible, for you and for your dog or cat. 

Your pet will be provided with anesthesia before their dental surgery to ensure they are comfortable and do not experience any pain. 

We'll be sure to break down each step of the process to you in detail before the procedure, including preparation and post-operative care requirements. 

Symptoms of Dental Issues 

There is a wide range of symptoms associated with oral health problems in pets. If your pet exhibits any of the following symptoms contact your veterinarian to book a dental exam for your dog or cat.

  • Tartar buildup or discoloured teeth
  • Loose and/or broken teeth
  • Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Bad breath 
  • Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
  • Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
  • Abnormal chewing or dropping food from mouth
  • Drooling 
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FAQs About Pet Dental Care

Still have questions about dental care for pets? To learn more caring for your pet's oral health and the services we offer at Saint John Animal Hospital, please read through the answers to these frequently asked questions about pet dental care.

  • Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?

    Our pets can develop periodontal disease or tooth decay as a consequence of poor oral health. 

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

    This can lead to infections in the mouth, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even loose or missing teeth. That's why regular dental care is essential to preventing pain or disease in the gums.

  • How often does my pets need their teeth cleaned?

    Your dog or cat should come in for a dental examination at least once a year.

    Pets who are more prone to dental problems than others may need to see us more often. 

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

    Did you know behaviour may be an indication of oral health problems? If your pet is experiencing dental problems, they drool excessively (and the drool may contain pus or blood), or you may notice them pawing at their mouth or teeth. They may also yawn excessively, grind their teeth, or stop grooming sufficiently.

    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. 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, kidney, heart, and other areas throughout your pet's body. 

    Cysts or tumours may develop. Your pet may also not feel well in general (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 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. 

  • Why does my pet require anesthesia for their dental appointment?

    Cats and dogs do not understand what is going on during dental procedures, and will often react to dental procedures by struggling or biting.

    Using anesthesia puts less stress on the animals and allows us to examine their mouth as needed. 

  • What dental issues may require dental surgery as treatment?

    Some common health issues which may require dental surgery to treat include: cracked or broken teeth; tooth decay; severe gum disease (periodontitis); jaw fractures; TMJ (temporomandibular joint); luxation; or dysplasia Feline stomatitis.