Dental care is vital to the overall health of any pet. Dental disease can lead to health issues with the heart, liver, and kidneys, and can affect the entire body through the bloodstream. In fact, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats over three years of age suffer from some form of dental disease, making it the most common health issue among our pet population.

In spite of these disturbing facts, many pet owners are not aware of the importance of dental care to their pet’s health. There are a lot of different ways to improve your pet’s dental hygiene, including home brushing, dental chews (VOHC seal certified), and regular inspection. The most effective way to protect your pet from dental disease is through professional cleanings. We perform thorough cleanings here at Murphy Avenue Pet Clinic, including the area beneath the gums that you can’t see or access at home.

During a dental cleaning, all pets will require general anesthesia to keep them calm and comfortable. Your pet’s safety is our number one priority. We have a dedicated staff member at each cleaning whose sole job is to monitor your pet and the anesthesia. This ensures the utmost safety of each animal undergoing dental cleanings and allows us to identify problems and adjust the anesthesia as needed.

After the teeth are cleaned, we apply a stain which allows us to clean up any hidden plaque that may have been missed. This guarantees your pet leaves with the cleanest teeth possible and makes maintaining their new smile that much easier.

In addition to dental cleanings, we also offer gum resections, tooth extractions, and crown amputations. Unfortunately, at this time, we do not provide root canals or caps.

Gum resection can treat a condition called gingival hyperplasia wherein the gums exhibit abnormal growth of tissue. This growth is primarily believed to be genetic, but in rare cases can also result from certain medications. Having excess gum can lead to infection as bacteria and food build up in the deep pockets formed near the teeth. A gum re-sectioning (also known as gingivoplasty) corrects this by removing the excess and restoring the natural gum line.

In some cases, dental disease or trauma has resulted in a bad tooth or teeth, and the only way to restore your pet’s oral health is to remove the offending tooth. Tooth extraction is typically a last resort after all other treatments have been exhausted. Tooth extractions are performed under general anesthesia to ensure the safety and comfort of your pet. After the tooth is removed, we will usually place sutures to seal the surgical area and control bleeding. Inflammation is controlled through the use of anti-inflammatory medication given before and after the surgery. The pet owner will need to monitor the area over the following days and weeks for continued bleeding and signs of infection. Generally, tooth extractions are straightforward, and healing time is fairly minimal with proper maintenance and aftercare.

Crown amputations are only done in particular cases of lesions wherein the root of the tooth was reabsorbed by your pet’s body. This reabsorption increases the likelihood of the crown breaking off. If your pet meets specific criteria for a crown amputation instead of complete tooth extraction, the crown of the tooth (the part visible when you look in their mouth) will be ground down, and we will suture the gum over the remaining root left in the jawbone. We perform this procedure under general anesthesia, and the highest regard for your pet’s safety is taken to ensure an optimal outcome.

If your pet has brown/yellow teeth, bad breath, broken teeth, or is having difficulty eating, these could all be signs of dental disease. Please contact us at
(408) 733-7387 today to learn more and schedule your pet’s dental cleaning.