Mon – Fri: 7:30am–5:30pm
Sat: 8am-3:00pm
Sun: Closed

Dental Care

Take Care of Your Pet's Dental Health

Take Care Of Your Pet's Health with a visit to a Dental Veterinarian

Periodontal disease is the #1 disease in adult dogs and cats.
Treating this disease in a timely fashion can add years to your pets’ lives.

We encourage all owners to have an at home preventative routine. Not all options work for every pet, so experiment to find what works for you! At-home oral care can prevent oral disease, and in a few cases, can actually reverse damage. It may prevent you from having to put your pet under anesthesia for a professional cleaning. The goal is to remove food residue (mechanical removal) and kill the bacteria living in the mouth (antibacterials.) At-home oral care can include brushing 3-4 times weekly, CET chews, T/D diet, and/or Nolvadent spray

Dental Radiographs

At GVH, full mouth radiographs (x-rays) are taken on every patient. Dental radiographs are the most important diagnostic tool used in canine and feline dentistry. By not taking dental radiographs, we are only getting a portion of what is going on with the teeth. Every patient MUST have them in order to perform a complete oral assessment by your dental veterinarian.

Dental Cleaning

Our complete dental cleaning consists of the following: oral exam including charting and tooth by tooth evaluation, tartar removal, ultrasonic scaling, sub gingival (below the gum line) scaling, polishing with paste that contains fluoride to help strengthen enamel, rinsing and application of a special oral cleansing solution to disinfect the mouth and freshen breath. Extractions may be needed and are done only when necessary.

Customized home care instructions will help you care for your pet after his/her procedure. We offer specific instructions for feeding, medications and/or activity restrictions. We also take the time to discuss future dental care and options to help maintain your pet’s oral health.


Why is general anesthesia required?

In order to safely and thoroughly assess the teeth of your pet, it is very important to be sure it is neither stressful to them, nor to the veterinary team. Only sedating the animal can risk injury, if they reflexively bite when having painful teeth touched. Also, having an endotracheal tube in the airway is important to protect your animal from aspirating any fluids and water spray from the ultrasonic scaling instruments.

How often should I clean my pets’ teeth?

Typically, every dog and cat should have annual preventative scaling and polishing, but some animals have such bad periodontal disease they may need to have their teeth cleaned more often, so it’s usually a case-by-case basis. The best thing to do is be sure your pet has the teeth assessed in the annual or semi-annual appointments.

How old do dogs/cats start to develop periodontal disease?

Most dogs and cats without a regular home-care regimen already have periodontal disease by the time they are 3 years old.

Gingivitis Case Study:

Dave has very heavy tartar, and moderate gingivitis. We were concerned that there would be damage underneath the tartar, necessitating extractions. Lucky for Dave, the tartar cleaned off beautifully, with no fractures or staining evident on the teeth. The gingivitis will heal on its own once the tartar is gone, though antibiotics may be indicated for severe cases.

Radiographs Case Study:

Shelby’s canines and incisors were in terrible condition visually- heavy tartar and severe gingivitis. We were concerned that all the teeth could have tooth-root abscesses. Radiographs indicate that both canines were infected, but that the incisors were not. In the below radiograph the bone surrounding the tooth roots is solid and there are no abscesses, which would show up as dark pockets. The lighter areas at the top of the radiograph are normal (opening to the nose.) The incisors were not compromised and were therefore not extracted.




Mon - Fri: 7:30am–5:30pm
Sat: 8am-3:00pm
Sun: Closed