Lacey, Washington


Veterinary Dentistry in Lacey, WA

Poor dental health can impact your pet's overall health and quality of life. That's why your trusted team at Rainier West Veterinary Hospital emphasizes the importance of routine pet dental care. Preventive dental exams and cleanings allow us to detect and treat early signs of dental problems to keep your pet's mouth healthy and free of pain. 

The Importance of Caring for Your Pet's Oral Health

According to the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS), about 70 percent of cats and 80 percent of dogs develop some form of oral disease by age 3. Interestingly, periodontal (gum) disease accounts for about 51 percent of dental conditions. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to secondary health conditions, including heart, liver, or kidney disease. Prevention and early detection of dental problems are the best ways to maintain healthy teeth and gums and prevent a host of serious health problems down the road. 

How Often Should You Get Your Pet's Teeth Checked?

Your pet needs dental exams and cleanings at least once a year to detect early signs of problems. However, you should schedule a dental exam if you notice signs of dental disease, including bad breath, broken or loose teeth, tooth discoloration, bleeding from the mouth, or swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth. Signs of oral health problems also include abnormal drooling, reduced appetite, and pain in or around the mouth.

What Happens During Your Pet's Dental Visit?

Dr. Doyle will start with a physical exam to evaluate every aspect of your pet's oral health. She will screen for tooth decay, gum disease, broken or loose teeth, infections, abscesses, tumors, and dental pain. 

An essential component of the visit is a dental cleaning, which is performed under general anesthesia for your pet's comfort and safety. Our team will remove plaque and tartar deposits above and below your pet's gum line and then use a polishing paste to smooth out the tooth enamel. 

During every cleaning, we will take full mouth dental x-rays to uncover any potential problems above and below the gum line. If a tooth has extensive damage, Dr. Doyle may recommend extracting it to safeguard your pet's oral and overall health. 

Caring for Your Pet's Oral Health At Home

Like humans, brushing a cat or dog's teeth daily can help prevent plaque and tartar buildup, the leading cause of tooth decay and periodontal disease. The earlier you introduce tooth brushing, the easier it will be. Start gradually to get your pet acclimated, and don't forget to offer a treat when done. 

If your pet resists brushing, consider using the liquid or foam mouth-cleaning alternatives or chewy toys and treats designed to remove plaque and tartar buildup. Dr. Doyle is happy to offer advice to help make tooth-brushing at home a successful experience. 

Pet Dental Services Near Me in Lacey, WA

Contact Rainier West Veterinary Hospital to learn more about maintaining your pet's dental health. Dr. Doyle and her dedicated team are committed to providing quality dental care to prevent problems that can impact the health and well-being of your precious pet. We invite you to call our office to schedule your pet's appointment or request one online today!