Dog Dental

Before And After Photos

Dental Care dog
Dental Care Dog 1

Here’s one example of photos before and after a veterinary dental cleaning at Forever Pet Dental.

It is important to realize that your dog will never tell you when he or she is experiencing dental pain. All dogs will endure some level of dental disease and dental pain during their lives. The best way to minimize these issues is for your dog is to start out with a great dental health routine at home. This should be supplemented with regular dental cleanings performed by veterinary professionals (a veterinarian and veterinary nurse to aid in the dental cleaning and patient care during the procedure).

What is Proper Dental Hygiene For Your Dog's Teeth?

There are several ways to ensure proper dog dental care. All of them involve diligence and commitment from you as a dog owner. Your canine friend will not tell you that dental care is needed, so it is up to you to proactively address his or her needs.

  • Good nutrition is the foundation for good dental health

  • If possible, establish a tooth cleaning routine when your dog is young

  • Schedule annual exams with a veterinary professional

  • Watch for signs of possible dental issues such as bad breath

  • Tell your vet during the checkup about any behaviors you've noticed or concerns you have

  • Early prevention is extremely important for avoiding or treating serious dental issues

Proper dental care at home consists of daily brushing. Just as with humans, dogs need the plaque and biofilm removed from their teeth on a daily basis to avoid dental disease. The vast majority of dogs will accept daily brushing by their owners. We are here to teach you how to brush your dog's teeth and provide you with the best brush and dental paste according to your dog's size and flavor preference. It can be a bonding experience for owners to brush their dog's teeth and the dog may come to really enjoy the process. However, not every dog will tolerate it, and not every person is willing or able to brush their dog's teeth. We can work with you to find the next-best solution for home care.

The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) lists many dog diets and treats that can be helpful if your dog will not tolerate brushing ( These approved diets and treats provide some supplemental dental care. However, just as humans require regular dental care to maintain proper dental health, it takes more than a chew toy to properly care for your canine companion's mouth, gums, and teeth.

Dog Bad Breath, A Sign Of Things To Come

Some people think that dog bad breath is a trait inherent to the canine species. This is a myth that dogs themselves have contributed to over the years through behaviors including drinking from the toilet, eating feces, and self-grooming habits. However, these practices alone do not account for dog bad breath. Dog bad breath is generally a result of the bacteria that live in the infected gum and dental tissue in your dog's mouth. This odor is a sign of progressive dental disease. It will not get better without a thorough veterinary dental cleaning and a proper home care plan.

Dog Dental Treatments

The dog dental care services provided here at Forever Pet Dental begin with an examination by one of our veterinarians. If dental issues are found in your dog's mouth, our veterinarian will explain the situation to you and recommend the appropriate dental procedure. During this procedure, once your dog is sedated, our veterinarians are able to conduct a more thorough exam including visualizing the entire oral cavity and throat area, probing gingival pockets to assess periodontal disease, and dental x-rays. It is important to remember that half of the tooth is under the gum line. Therefore, it is imperative that x-rays are performed to complete an assessment of the tooth. Quite often a tooth may look completely normal but the roots are abscessed and a great source of pain for your dog. We utilize all the tools necessary to make sure your dog is completely free of dental disease and pain.

Our veterinarians use a comprehensive 6-Step protocol when performing a standard dog dental treatment. This protocol can be amended depending upon factors including preexisting medical conditions, or based on information gleaned during the examination itself. However, for reference, our dog dental treatment protocol includes:

  1. General anesthesia, which is necessary in all cases for us to do a thorough dental examination and professional cleaning. We use only the safest anesthesia protocols and human quality products. Your dog will be continually monitored during the entire procedure and post-procedure for the safest and most comfortable experience.

  2. A complete dental exam will be performed before we begin any dental procedure. Dental radiographs are taken at this time. Dental radiology allows our veterinarians to view the internal anatomy of the teeth including the roots and surrounding bone. A thorough dental chart is used to record the dental health of your pet, and any procedures done during the dental cleaning.

  3. Ultrasonic and hand scaling to remove plaque and tartar above and below the gum line. A thorough scaling below the gum line is critical to the success of any dental cleaning, as this is where illness-causing bacteria hide.

  4. Polishing to smooth the surface of the teeth after scaling, making them resistant to additional plaque formation.

  5. Flushing to remove dislodged tartar, plaque, and bacteria from the mouth.

  6. If it is determined that an infected tooth requires extraction, or there is a problem with the gums that must be addressed, then and only then will oral surgery be recommended.

Oral Surgery in Dogs

The most common reason for oral surgery in dogs is extraction of a tooth. During an extraction, a gingival flap is created and the tooth is removed in its entirety. A post removal x-ray is performed to make sure that no peices of the roots were left behind. Dog tooth extraction is necessary in several cases, most commonly, advanced periodental disease.

Other conditions that warrant oral surgery includes:

  • Gingival surgery - including tumor removal and removal of excessive gum tissue secondary to periodontal disease

  • Retained deciduous (baby teeth) or maloccluded teeth removed

  • ​​​​​​​Tooth resorption that has moved into the crown

  • ​​​​​​​Abscessed or infected teeth

  • Fractured teeth with nerve exposure, among others

The cost of dog oral surgery is based on the type of procedure performed, and it may include hospitalization, anesthesia, painkiller medications, x-rays, and surgical supplies.

Signs And Symptoms Of Dog Dental Issues

The best way to prevent dog dental issues is to be proactive. Part of this process includes periodic dog teeth cleaning, but the other part requires vigilance on your part as the dog's owner. If your dog displays any of the following symptoms, you should schedule a veterinary appointment ASAP:

  • Bad breath / Halitosis

  • Problems eating, loss of appetite (only in the most severe cases)

  • Red, swollen, bleeding gums (usually the molars in the back of the mouth)

  • Loose, broken, missing teeth

  • Blood in saliva or nasal discharge

  • Lesions in mouth

Should you notice any of these symptoms, schedule a veterinary appointment right away.

The Harsh Reality Of Periodontal Disease In Dogs

Periodontal disease in dogs is the most common clinical condition occurring in adult canines. By three years of age, most dogs have some evidence of periodontal disease. Unfortunately, other than bad breath, there are few signs of periodontal disease in dogs evident to dog owners and professional diagnosis often comes too late to prevent extensive damage. Periodontal disease in dogs, if left untreated, will lead to infected, nonviable teeth and significant dental pain.

However, we cannot overstate the fact that periodontal disease in dogs is fully preventable. The way to successfully do so is to schedule semi-annual dog dental exams and dog teeth cleaning appointments with your veterinary dog dentist. By doing so, you are ensuring that your canine companion remains at low risk for developing periodontal disease.

Dog Anesthesia

There are always risks that come with any surgery, but the risks are very low thanks to the experienced veterinary team here at Forever Pet Dental. However, with proper care and supervision, there is very low risks of complications due to the use of a dog sedatives. Our veterinary staff ensures the risks are minimized by performing careful and consistent monitoring throughout the entire time our canine patients are under anesthesia.

The veterinary surgical team will monitor your dog very carefully during and after the dental is performed and throughout the time that they are under the influence of a dog sedative. During surgery, our veterinary staff will:

  • Monitor your dog’s heart rate, ECG, body temperature, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and carbon dioxide output levels
  • An IV catheter is in place to provide IV fluids and fluid support should there be any fluctuations in blood pressure

After the procedure your dog is monitored closely to make sure he/she is breathing well and resting comfortably. The IV catheter stays in to ensure IV access if needed.

*The risks of dog anesthesia are very low with proper monitoring.


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