Veterinary Dentistry & Dental Surgery in West Chester
Dental Care You Can Trust
At West Chester Veterinary Medical Center, we provide quality veterinary dental care and surgery for cats and dogs in Chester County.
Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Routine pet dental care is a critical component of cats' and dogs' oral and overall health, but most pets don't get the oral hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our West Chester 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 are also passionate about dental health education regarding home dental care for pet owners.
Veterinary Dental Surgery in West Chester
We understand that finding out that your pet needs surgery can be intimidating, so we strive to make this process as stress-free as possible, for you and your pet.
We'll also do everything we can to ensure your pet's experience with us is comfortable and easy. We'll break down each step of the process to you in detail before the procedure, including preparation and post-operative care requirements.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Your pet should come in for a dental examination at least annually. Dogs and cats who are more prone to dental problems than others may need to see us more often.
West Chester Veterinary Medical Center can assess, diagnose and treat dental health problems in cats and dogs.
If you notice any of the following symptoms in your pet, it's time for a dental checkup.
- Tartar buildup
- 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, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Discolored teeth
A thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be completed for your pet before the dental exam.
We will take blood and urine analyses to ensure it's safe for your pet to have anesthesia. Additional diagnostics such as chest radiographs or an ECG may also be conducted.
Once your pet is completely under anesthesia, we will conduct a complete oral examination (tooth-by-tooth) and charting.
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.
A complimentary 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 pet dental care.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
Similar to humans, our pets may develop periodontal disease and issues with their gums (such as gingivitis) as a consequence of poor oral health.
Just like us, when our four-legged friends 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 and even loose or missing teeth. That's why regular dental care is essential to preventing pain or disease in the gums. Tooth extractions may also be needed.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Did you know behavior may be an indication of oral health problems? Fido or Fluffy may drool excessively (and the drool may contain pus or blood). Some have bad breath.
Gums can swell, or teeth may become stained with plaque. Some pets may even suffer from pain that keeps them from eating. Read about more symptoms listed 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 tumors may develop. Your pet may also not feel themselves or get to enjoy a long, healthy, happy life, as diseases caused by oral health conditions can shorten their lifespan.
This is why regular dental care is so essential to their 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, such as:
- Signs of plaque or tartar
- Inability to chew properly
- Drooling excessively
- Signs of pain or discomfort in the mouth
- Unusual bleeding
- Odorous breath
- Stained, fractured or missing teeth
- Swelling on cheek or gum tissue
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 these to you and provide advice on which actions you should take.
In some cases, surgery will be needed to treat serious conditions. Your pet will be provided anesthesia before their dental procedure to ensure they are comfortable and do not experience any pain. However, special care will be needed post-surgery.
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 do not understand what is going on during dental procedures, and will often react to dental procedures by struggling or biting.
We 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.