Dental Care FAQs

Portsmouth Veterinarian Answers Pet Dental Care Questions

Churchland Animal Clinic in Portsmouth provides complete pet dental care to help your pet stay healthy. We receive many questions about pet dentistry so we have included them in an FAQ.

Do I need to brush my pet’s teeth?

Yes. This is one of the most important aspects of pet dental care because it prevents daily plaque buildup from turning into tartar. Tartar is like concrete and can only be removed during a dental cleaning appointment with our Portsmouth veterinarian. Tartar attracts harmful bacteria that can inflame the gums, attack teeth roots and even enter the bloodstream to go on and infect the heart, liver and kidneys.

Will my pet need to go under anesthesia for a dental cleaning?

Yes. Because pets cannot lie still enough for us to get a full examination of each tooth, let alone stay calm when we are doing something so unfamiliar as using sharp dental tools to remove tartar. Our Portsmouth veterinarian always runs a full health check, including blood tests, on each patient before administering anesthesia. One of our experienced vet techs is also constantly on hand to monitor your pet’s vital signs and we rarely have any problems.

How often does my pet need to have a pet dental care appointment?

Veterinarians agree that most pets need an annual dental exam and cleaning. Pets that have severe cases of periodontal disease, missing teeth, infections, etc. may need extra appointments to repair the damage before it spreads.

Do pets need antibiotics for dental cleanings?

Some do, but some do not. Pets that have any heart, kidney or liver problems, or those that have compromised immune systems for some reason may be given antibiotics before the dental appointment. Pets with a clean bill of health usually do not need them.

When are tooth extractions necessary for pets?

In severe cases of periodontal disease, we may need to remove teeth in order to save other teeth or other important tissues in your pet’s mouth. When these structures are severely infected, we have to remove the infected parts so the infection does not spread elsewhere and cause even more health problems.

My pet does not seem bothered by his fractured tooth. Can we just leave it alone?

No. Fractured teeth are a serious problem because bacteria can find their way deeper into your pet’s teeth, roots, gums and bloodstream. Please schedule a pet dental care appointment as soon as possible.

My pet loves crunchy treats, bones and kibble. Will she be able to enjoy these after dental surgery?

Our Portsmouth veterinarian recommends a soft food diet for about 2 weeks after any dental surgery, just to give the mouth time to heal. After that, your pet should be able to enjoy her favorite foods again without the pain caused by the dental problems.

If you have any other questions, please contact us at 757-484-2733.


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