“Scrappy, one of our greatest loves was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma. Through the incredible care and nurturing provided by Park Grove Pet Hospital, we were able to have him with us until he reached the age of 13. The care, support, and counseling given by the wonderful staff was beyond measure and we will be forever grateful. ”
Holly and Erik Ostertag

Dental Care for Pets in the St. Paul Area

Dental Care at Park Grove Pet Hospital, Cottage Grove Minnesota

Pet dental disease affects more than the mouth—infections in the teeth and gums can lead to serious health problems including heart, lung, and kidney disease. This makes it important to provide your pets with proper dental care from the start.

As an AAHA-accredited hospital, we follow the American Animal Hospital Associationís Dental Care Guidelines for veterinary dentistry and recommend the following:

  • Regular oral examinations
  • Dental cleanings under general anesthesia
  • A home dental care regime

This three-point program offers a lifetime of protection from dental pain and associated disease.

Dental Care at the Veterinary Hospital

At Park Grove Pet Hospital, your veterinarian evaluates all young pets for dental issues during each wellness visit in the first year. We look for problems related to the deciduous or "baby" teeth, missing or extra teeth, swellings, and oral development.

After the first birthday, we look for developmental anomalies, the accumulation of plaque and tartar, periodontal disease, and oral tumors. While we perform a basic oral examination on patients that are awake, anesthetic is required to provide a complete and thorough examination and dental cleaning.

Park Grove Pet Hospital offers the following benefits in veterinary dentistry:

  • Pre-anesthetic exam—We perform a thorough exam to assess for health concerns and your petís ability to tolerate anesthesia and may run laboratory and diagnostic tests to check for any dangerous medical conditions.
  • Anesthesia monitoring—We monitor and record vital signs, such as body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration, throughout the procedure and after, until your pet is awake and fully alert.
  • Dental radiographs—X-rays of the teeth may be needed to fully evaluate your petís oral health, detecting abnormalities and the need for extraction.
  • Scaling & polishing—We remove plaque and calculus from your petís teeth, smooth out scratches in the enamel, and polish with a special paste.
  • Fluoride or sealants—We may apply an anti-plaque substance such as fluoride or sealant to decrease plaque build-up and help strengthen teeth.

This quality plan is the gold standard in veterinary dental care and provides the highest level of protection from dental deterioration and disease.

Home Dental Care

Home dental care for pets is part of a comprehensive plan including:

  • Healthy diet
  • Abundant water
  • Appropriate snacks
  • Safe chew toys
  • A dental hygiene regime

A healthy diet is essential to bone and tooth development, as well as to avoid food that will promote decay. An adequate water supply helps to rinse food from the teeth and gums as only one of its many benefits necessary for your petís ongoing health.

Appropriate snacks include veterinary-approved treats—those without added sugar. In both food and treats, we discourage the introduction of "people food" as a treat for your pet. Discuss any questions or concerns about your petís diet at each wellness visit for recommendations and suggestions in this area.

Please note that safe chew toys are essential to stimulate the gums, promote salivation, and help scrub the surface of the teeth. However, there are many chew products that are not safe for your pet. Consult the veterinarian for direction in this important area.

Brushing your petís teeth is easy and can be fun for you both. The professionals at Park Grove Pet Hospital are pleased to assist you in beginning your pet home dental regime. To find step-by-step instructions on getting started, read this AAHA article, Brushing Your Petís Teeth.

For additional help in this area, you may enjoy the WebMD Pet Health website, which offers a video demonstration in How To Brush Your Dogís Teeth and the comprehensive article Ten Steps to Cat Dental Health.

For a more comprehensive discussion of pet dental care, read through this summary of the AAHA Dental Care Guidelines.