Our veterinarians at St. Francis Veterinary Hospital provide dental care in order to prevent and restore your pet's health after experiencing oral health issues such as gum disease and tooth decay.
Routine Dental Care
Routine dental care is a key aspect of your pet's overall health and well-being. However, many pet's don't' receive the oral health care they need in order to keep their mouths healthy.
Our Lafayette veterinarians are here to provide comprehensive dental care for your pet, ranging from basic dental cleanings and polishings to surgeries and x-rays.
We are also passionate about dental health education about home dental care for pet owners.
Dental Surgery in Lafayette
We know that finding out your pet needs dental surgery can be an overwhelming experience, however, at St. Francis Veterinary Hospital we do all we can to ensure the experience is as stress-free as possible.
We'll 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 a wide range of surgeries, from jaw fracture repair to tooth extraction and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
You should aim to bring your pet in for a dental checkup at least once per year. Cats and dogs who are more prone to dental problems may also need to see us more often than that.
St. Francis Veterinary Hospital 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.
- Bad breath
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Tartar buildup
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Discolored teeth
We will provide your pet with a comprehensive physical exam before administering anesthesia and conducting the dental checkup for your dog or cat.
We will take blood to ensure it's safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia. Additional diagnostics, such as chest radiographs may also be conducted.
Once your pet is under the effects of the anesthesia, we will complete our oral exam, including checking each individual tooth and charting.
Our vets will clean your pet's teeth and polish them above and below the gum line. We will also take x-rays to evaluate for disease of the tooth root system beneath the gum line.
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.
Our vets will provide you with information on how you can implement dental hygiene and care at home.
We will also discuss implementing teeth brushing at home and can 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?
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 cause mouth infections, periodontal disease, loos or missing teeth and tooth decay. This is the reason that regular dental care is so important to preventing disease and discomfort for your pet.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Behavior can be an excellent indicator of oral health issues. If your pet is having dental health problems, they may drool more than normal (and that drool may include substances like pus or blood), they may paw at their mouth frequently, yawn excessively, or stop grooming themselves 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.
They may even develop tumors of cysts and feel generally unwell if suffering from oral health issues. If you've ever had a toothache, you know it can affect every part of your life. As well, diseases related to oral health conditions can significantly shorten your pet's lifespan and cause them 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 these to you and provide advice on which actions you should take.
In some cases, your cat or dog will require surgery to treat serious conditions. They will be provided anesthesia before their procedure in order to ensure they are comfortable and don't experience any pain. You will have to make sure that you can provide special care for your pet after their procedure as well.
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
Dogs and cats don't know what is going on during their dental checkups, and may often react by struggling or biting. Because of this, we provide anesthesia for all of our patients before conducting dental procedures in order to reduce stress for everyone involved.