Welcome to the Dentistry Services Page!

Before cleaning

After cleaning with gingival recession and root exposure

Your pet’s overall health and wellness benefits from dental care. We get many questions about oral health and here are a few:

How often should my dog or cat have their teeth cleaned?

This depends upon the pet and whether or not you brush your pet’s teeth. This is also dependent upon your pet’s occlusion and periodontal health. If your pet has persistent bad breath, seems painful when chewing or has an accumulation of tartar with gingivitis he or she is overdue for a cleaning.

Why do I need to clean my pet’s teeth?

Chronic oral infection is painful and unhealthy. Your pet (especially your cat) is an expert at hiding pain from you.

Can I get my pet’s teeth cleaned at the groomer without anesthesia?

The American Veterinary Dental College says it best: “Removal of dental tartar on the visible surfaces of the teeth has little effect on a pet's health, and provides a false sense of accomplishment. The effect is purely cosmetic.” Think of the tooth like an iceberg-the big supportive structure lies below the surface and this structure must stay healthy and needs assessment. If you are thinking your pet can have a beneficial dental cleaning without anesthesia, then please take a look at this excellent explanation about tooth cleaning without sedation: Click Here

How does South Davis Veterinary Center take care of my pet’s teeth? When we notice signs of dental disease, we schedule a cleaning and assessment of your pet’s mouth. On this day we clean the teeth above and below the gumline, closely examine all visible surfaces of the teeth and radiograph the full mouth to look at the tooth socket and supportive structure. Your pet is anesthetized for this procedure with all the care we would do for general surgery which means that your pet has had a pre-operative blood test, an IV catheter and full monitoring of ECG, blood pressure, oxygenation and CO2 levels and body temperature.

How much does the cleaning and assessment cost?

The cost for the entire procedure is 500 dollars for dogs and 450 dollars for cats.

What if my pet needs extractions or further care? After the cleaning and assessment, we review the options for your pet’s teeth. There is a spectrum of care available for a diseased tooth and we offer your pet more than just extractions. Sometimes we will need to schedule a second cleaning and assessment procedure earlier than usual to see if disease below the gum line is progressing despite brushing and home care. Sometimes a tooth can be saved by referral to a veterinary dentist for state of the art periodontal therapy. Sometimes we schedule a second procedure within a month to remove diseased teeth.

Why can’t you do one long procedure for my pet’s teeth?

We can do one long procedure when we already know your pet has a painful or infected area in the mouth. However, we still clean the teeth and take dental radiographs before calling to discuss therapy options. The estimates for this type of work are higher with a large range due to the uncertainties. Remember most of the tooth hides below the gums and dental radiographs uncover hidden pathology. Your pet’s total anesthesia time will be longer with a single procedure as your pet is anesthetized while we discuss therapy options.

If you have any further questions, we can see your pet for an exam and talk with you about oral health.

The best home care starts with daily tooth brushing which requires some training. Training your pet to look forward to daily brushing is the best preventative. When the task becomes a positive social interaction, then you will be able to contribute to your pet’s good health. Check out this video from Cornell University for tips and encouragement. It shows how to train a cat, but the principles of training are the same for dogs.

We have pets too and realize not all of our pets understand brushing is good for them. That is OK because there are other things we like to use as well, such as:

1. Daily antibacterial products like Maxi-guard gel

2. Chews that physically remove plaque and are antibacterial like Oravet Chews

3. Dental health diets which remove plaque as a pet chews like Hills Prescription Diet t/d

A healthy mouth contributes to a healthy life. At South Davis Veterinary Center, we want to work with you to create a home oral care plan for your pet, so in between professional cleanings, your pet’s mouth stays as healthy as possible.