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As a dog parent, you’re probably on top of every product and service your dog needs. Most animal owners know what food their pets like, how much water they need, how often to bathe them, and where their vet is. But one of the most critical tasks, finding a dog dentist, is often forgotten. 

Should dogs go to the dentist? We’ll answer that question below and examine everything you need to know about dog dental services.

Should Dogs Go to The Dentist?

Your dentist keeps your teeth healthy, treating cavities as necessary to remove the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. A dog dentist serves the same purpose, but many dogs live their whole lives with these problems untreated.

Studies suggest that most dogs that don’t receive regular dental exams develop periodontitis at age three, a gum infection that breaks down their dental support structures. Unfortunately, further studies show that nearly 100% of certain dog breeds have this harmful gum affliction.

Periodontitis can lead to severe tooth pain, gum separation, and eventual tooth weakening and loss. Luckily, this disease has several easy-to-identify symptoms, including:

  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Discolored gums or teeth
  • Less motivation to eat
  • Bleeding from the gums or mouth

What Are Dog Dentists Called?

Dog dentists often title themselves as veterinary dental specialists. Some dental specialists operate strictly as dog dentists, but most open all-encompassing veterinary clinics offer dental examinations and cleanings on top of physical check-ups.

If you’re looking for a new vet, be sure to research which clinics in your area offer dog dental services so you can preserve your pet’s oral health without needing a separate specialist.

How Much Does It Cost to Clean a Dog’s Teeth?

Dog dental procedures range in price depending on the intensity. For example, the average dental cleaning for a dog with relatively clean, healthy teeth costs around $500, but the same procedure for a dog with diseased gums who needs extra examinations can exceed $1,000.

More involved procedures like tooth extraction and gum treatment can cost up to $3,000 in some cases, depending on your clinic. You can call your local dog dentist even without an appointment to receive a price estimate based on your dog’s dental history and symptoms.

Can a Dentist Clean My Dog’s Teeth?

A dog dentist can clean your dog’s teeth similarly to how your dentist cleans your own. They’ll remove plaque and tartar build-up from each tooth, sanitize the gums and gum line, and apply a polish that keeps that build-up from returning. Some veterinary dental specialists even use fluoride products for additional plaque protection.

Dog dentists do more than just clean teeth and treat gum disease. They’ll also run through a few lab tests, a physical examination, and thorough dental x-rays to examine their teeth closer. 

Is Dog Teeth Cleaning Really Necessary?

Many dogs will live happy, mostly healthy lives even without regular cleaning. However, when periodontitis and other dental damage progress, it can still leave your dogs with chronic tooth pain. And in extreme cases, the bacteria from their gum disease can infiltrate their bloodstream and damage their vital organs.

Though trips to the dog dentist aren’t common for most pet owners, they can ensure your dog avoids the worst-case scenario and doesn’t live with hidden pain.

How Often Should I Take My Dog to The Dog Dentist?

Most dogs need professional tooth cleaning at least once a year to preserve their dental health. However, that timeline shifts depending on your dog’s age, size, and current hygiene habits.

Most dogs live for three comfortable years without developing signs of periodontitis. Any dog older than three should visit the dog dentist at least once per year, while dogs seven years or older should make twice-yearly visits to combat their naturally weakening dental health.

Small dogs often experience dental crowding because their jaws are too tiny to fit their teeth comfortably. Unfortunately, this leads to early symptoms of periodontitis. If you have a toy breed dog, you should take them to the dog dentist for an examination when they turn two.

At-Home Dental Care

If you can’t take your dog to the dentist, you can help them avoid plaque build-up at home through daily brushing and specialized dental chews. While neither is a perfect replacement for a professional dog dentist, they will keep your dog’s dental health intact until their next annual visit.

Is It Safe to Get Your Dog’s Teeth Cleaned?

Most dogs don’t take kindly to at-home dentistry, but professional dog dentists have the equipment and expertise needed to make the process as safe and pain-free as possible.

Dog dentists use IV fluids and anesthesia to calm your dog’s nerves during the cleaning or temporarily knock them unconscious if necessary. Dentists will also use heart rate monitors to ensure they’re safe throughout the process.

With your dog relaxed and thoroughly monitored, the dentist can go through the necessary cleaning steps without interference. Becoming a dog dentist requires years of education and extensive training, and everyone who overcomes those trials and opens their own clinic knows how to keep your pet safe.

Call Penny Paws Animal Clinic for Safe and Effective Dog Dental Services

Penny Paws Animal Clinic has the dog dental services your pet needs to live their happiest, healthiest lives. We have a dog dentist at all of our Texas clinics, so you can keep your pet smiling bright no matter where you live.

While caring for pets is our top priority, we never forget about the people bringing them in. We’ll communicate with you through every step of your dog’s dental procedure so that you know your beloved pet is safe and happy in our care.  Contact the Penny Paws Animal Clinic nearest you today to schedule an appointment!