Harborside Veterinary Hospital

Hours of Operation:

Mon, Wed, Fri
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tue, Thu*
8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sat
8:00 am - 12:00 pm

*Some exceptions allowed for appointments to 8pm.
Call for up to date hours.

Dental Care

Harborside Veterinary Hospital Dental Care

Keeping your pet's teeth clean and healthy is about more than fending off "doggy breath" - it's an important part of preventive care. Dental problems, if left untreated, can often lead to serious illness in your pet, due to oral bacteria entering the blood stream and damaging the kidneys, heart and liver.

Pets have dental diseases just like humans and many of these problems can be prevented by bringing your pet in for regular dental exams and teeth cleanings. Bad breath and reddened gums are often the first, most common signs of dental problems. Other signs include:

  • A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gumline.
  • Pain or bleeding when eating or when the mouth or gums are touched.
  • Decreased appetite or difficulty eating.
  • Loose or missing teeth.

While a human's trip to the dentist is relatively brief and does not require sedation, your pet's dental exam is more involved and complex. Routine dental cleanings require general anesthesia and a day of hospitalization.

Your pet's dental cleaning begins with a physical exam, which is used to evaluate his or her general health. We also perform routine blood tests in order to detect any potential problems that may result from the use of anesthesia.

The first part of the dental cleaning requires the removal of tartar. This is done with a hand scaler. Next, an ultrasonic scaler is used to clean above the gumline, while a curette cleans and smoothes the teeth under the gumline. Your pet's teeth are then polished and the gums are washed with an anti-bacterial solution to help delay tartar build-up.

Your pet's dental care doesn't end with a trip to the veterinary hospital. You can play an important role in keeping your pet's teeth clean at home by brushing your pet's teeth. We can discuss with you how to brush and care for your pet's teeth at home.