Let’s keep them safe.


Why Dentistry Matters

Cute dog smiling while lying on a wooden floor with its nose up showing white teeth
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.

Dentistry Benefits

lovely cat in human hands, vintage effect love for the animals
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.

What to Expect

happy pug dog sitting behind shrub
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.