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Just like humans, pets also need proper oral hygiene and appropriate dental care to promote overall well-being, quality of life, and even longevity. Fairfax pet dental care and dental prophylaxis services can help protect your cat or dog from tooth decay, oral and periodontal disease, and prevent cavities from becoming serious problems. If you’re looking for pet dental care in Fairfax or the greater Ross Valley, then Fairfax Veterinary Clinic has the trained veterinarians and support staff to help ensure you have the best pet dentistry possible.
Pets can develop the many of the same dental problems as their owners. Not only can these issues lead to tooth decay and issues with your pet’s gums (pet gingivitis and periodontitis), but bacteria can actually make their way into oral lesions resulting in a complication called bacteremia. Once there, bacteria can begin to reproduce and raise the risk for systemic complications, including bacterial endocarditis, kidney problems, joint problems, and others.
In addition to home care (are you brushing your dog’s or cat’s teeth? Just like for people, it is one of the simplest and most beneficial habits to have) it is critical that your pets’ teeth and oral health be assessed regularly. Ideally, a comprehensive oral exam can and should be a part of their annual wellness check. Your veterinarian will be looking for plaque build-up, inflamed gums, tartar, and even more serious problems like cavities or resorptive lesions, broken teeth, bacterial contamination, or root problems.
In general, if there are any small problems detected like plaque build-up or gingivitis, your vet will recommend a dental prophylaxis, or teeth cleaning. Otherwise, these problems will grow over time, potentially leading to periodontal disease, infection, pain, and the loss of the tooth or teeth.
At Fairfax Veterinary Clinic, we are also able to perform simple dental prophylaxis procedures, as well as more complex pet dentistry, such as extracting teeth, and providing oro-gingival surgery.
Your pet will need to avoid eating overnight before the procedure, in order to safely undergo general anesthesia. General anesthesia is necessary for a comprehensive dental evaluation and cleaning, and actually has been shown to make the procedure safer. And just like anesthesia in a human hospital, the combination of drugs and medications and their respective doses are custom tailored to your individual pet, and all vital signs will be monitored by a dedicated technician and veterinarian from beginning to end. Once your pet is anesthetized, his or her teeth will be cleaned and polished both above and below the gum line using hand tools and an ultrasonic scaler, just like a human dentist would do. All teeth are x-rayed, probed, and evaluated by the veterinarian, and any necessary additional treatments would be performed at this time.
Afterwards, your pet may require antibiotics or pain medications, depending on the nature of the procedure performed and the extent of dental disease that was present. You will be provided with instructions about oral care for your pet in order to promote dental health going forward. The frequency with which pets need dental cleanings is highly variable, and depends on the homecare you provide them (tooth brushing), as well as their diet and their unique genetic predisposition to dental disease. Your vet at the Fairfax Veterinary Clinic will help assess your pet’s oral health, and help decide an appropriate interval for teeth cleaning.
It’s important that you monitor your pet’s teeth as well. If you notice any tooth problems, pain for your pet, or foul odors or bad breath, contact us at the Fairfax Veterinary Clinic.
If you want to schedule an appointment for a pet teeth cleaning or examination, or if you have additional questions for your San Anselmo veterinarian, feel free to call us at 415-454-8204 or visit us at 2084 Sir Francis Drake Blvd Fairfax, CA 94930.
*We will be open for normal hours on Friday, May 26th. Our offices will be closed in observance of the Memorial Day Holiday from May 27th-29th and normal business hours will continue on Tuesday, May 30th*
The Doctors, Techs and Front Desk staff are always friendly, professional, very knowledgeable and treat my dogs with the utmost care. Their compassion and love of animals always shows forth and I would never take my dogs anyplace else for routine care. I even have the staff cut my dogs nails. I highly recommend Fairfax Veterinary Clinic.