Pet Dentistry Lake Geneva Wisconsin

Lake Geneva Animal Hospital uses an advanced dental system to maintain your pet’s oral health. Dental disease, like in people, is a painful condition that is often overlooked. Bad breath, a sensitive mouth, tartar buildup, or trouble eating are all signs of tooth issues.

Frequently asked questions about dentistry

How often do pets need their teeth professionally cleaned?

At least 85% of dogs over 2-years-old have some degree of dental disease and need their teeth cleaned every 12-18 months. Dogs who weigh less than 20 pounds need their teeth cleaned every 6-9 months. Cats typically need to have their teeth cleaned every 1-2 years. During your pet's physical exam, we can examine their teeth and recommend the best approach for your pet. In addition to keeping their teeth white and their gums healthy, dental cleaning also protects their internal health, especially their heart, liver and kidneys.

What type of anesthetic is needed for a dental cleaning? How long will my pet be anesthetized?

General anesthesia is necessary for a professional dental cleaning. We tailor the anesthetic protocol for each pet based on the age, size, pre-anesthetic bloodwork (if available) and any pre-existing health concerns.. Typically, we give a short-acting injection for sedation and then maintain the anesthetic using the same gas anesthesia used for surgical operations. Throughout the procedure, we administer fluids using an intravenous catheter and monitor your pet's vital signs using a pulse oximeter. You can expect your pet to be anesthetized for 20-25 minutes for a dental cleaning and polish. Your pet will need to stay at our hospital for 2-3 hours following their procedure to allow sufficient time to "wake up" from the anesthetic.

What can I expect after the dental cleaning?

Your pet may be tired that night after their cleaning due to the anesthetic. Most pets are hungry and want to eat a light meal that evening. If there was any infection involving the gums or the teeth, your pet will have antibiotics to take at home for the next 7-10 days. In cases of severe gingivitis or if extractions are necessary, your pet will also have pain management medication to take at home. We will also make recommendations regarding soft food following your pet's procedure.

Is there anything I can do at home to maintain my pet's dental health?

At-home care is an integral part of any pet's dental health. Most cats and dogs can be trained to accept having their teeth brushed, although this is easiest to teach them when they are still kittens and puppies. When brushing your pet's teeth, you will need to use a veterinary toothpaste. Veterinary toothpastes work by enzyme action and do not include fluoride, which can be harmful if your pet swallows the toothpaste. Additionally, there are medicated dental chews and rinses available to reduce plaque accumulation on the teeth. Finally, feeding a diet which is mainly dry food helps to keep the teeth clean.

Why are extractions necessary?

Unfortunately, dental disease can cause recession of the gum line, which causes root exposure and can progress to a tooth root abscess. Additionally, trauma can cause fractures that also open up the nerve canal to infection. Trauma may be from chewing on things such as rocks and bones or from blunt head trauma. We may be able to anticipate potential extractions during your pet's physical exam. Other times, we find diseased teeth once your pet is under anesthesia. For this reason, we need to know where you can be reached throughout your pet's procedure so we can discuss the best care for your pet. It is best that we reach you immediately in order to make these decisions promptly. If you will not be available for immediate consultation, we ask that you let us know in advance whether or not to extract any diseased teeth.

What other options are available to save a diseased tooth?

We are able to refer your pet to a board-certified veterinary dentist to evaluate any diseased teeth. Just as in human dentistry, they can provide more advanced care such as root canal therapy, dental crowns and bone grafts/implants to preserve your pet's dental health.