Frequently Asked Questions

The reason your pet will receive anesthesia for a dental procedure is mainly for pain control and to ensure their safety. During any procedure, we have to probe underneath your pet’s gum line to examine the health of the gums and teeth. If your pet moves or jerks, it can be dangerous. It is necessary to examine under the gum line to treat most oral conditions.
At Veterinary Dental Care, we use a multimodal form of anesthesia, where we deliver multiple drugs in small doses to minimize any adverse effects. Most of the drugs that we use are reversible.Throughout the procedure, we monitor a minimum of seven parameters to ensure their safety, including heart rate and rhythm, oxygenation, blood pressure, temperature, anesthetic depth, and carbon dioxide exhalation.We recommend using anesthesia to address minimal concerns before they become major concerns, which may require extensive time under anesthesia for more in-depth treatment protocols.
Cats typically have 30 teeth and dogs usually have 42 teeth.
Yes, your pet should be able to eat the same day, even if in the worst-case scenario, they have no teeth left.
Unfortunately, both cats and dogs can live with oral pain for a long time without showing signs. They will still eat normally and often show no signs of discomfort. A tooth can be diseased for years without any signs of a problem. That is why regular dental exams are so critical.
There are times when a tooth can be saved and others when it cannot. When the tooth is beyond repair, an extraction is the best course. The only way to know for sure is to have it examined by a dental professional using an oral exam combined with intraoral imaging.
Many teeth can be saved. There are periodontal procedures and endodontic procedures that can save teeth and not extract them. These procedures usually require a referral to a veterinarian with advanced training in veterinary dentistry, such as a veterinarian who is a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College.
Cats’ and dogs’ survival in the wild depends on them hiding weaknesses. If they act vulnerable, predators may attack them. They also are very good at finding ways to eat around a painful spot in their mouths.An animal will not starve itself if it has a toothache. He or she will use the other side of the mouth to eat or pick food up. Dogs and cats find ways to get food to the back of their mouths using the tongue or lips.
Starting to brush the teeth when your dog or cat is young helps them get used to having a toothbrush in their mouths. You should use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and use dog or cat toothpaste or water. Human toothpaste with fluoride should be avoided because dogs and cats do not spit out the toothpaste.Do not attempt to open the mouth; instead, lift up the lips with the mouth somewhat closed. This allows better access to the back of the mouth. Brush along the gumline and then use praise and scratches to provide a positive experience.
A good rule of thumb is that if you can press a fingernail into a chew toy, then it likely will not be hard enough to break a tooth. Toys such as Kong toys, Oravet chews, or Greenies are acceptable chew toys.
The Veterinary Oral Health Council was created to test and recommend dental products for dogs and cats. This council tests products and approves them based on safety and efficacy. A list of approved products for cats and dogs can be found on their website: