Veterinary Dentistry

Veterinary Dentistry at Natchez Trace Veterinary Services in Nashville, TN


Why Prioritize Veterinary Dentistry?

Veterinary dentistry is essential for maintaining your pet’s oral health, mirroring the importance of regular dental check-ups for humans.

The primary concern addressed in veterinary dentistry is the buildup of dental calculus, commonly known as dental tartar. This amalgamation of mineral salts, organic matter, and food particles forms the unpleasant and odorous dental tartar.

Initially, it starts as a soft material known as plaque. However, if left untreated, plaque hardens, adheres to the teeth, progresses beneath the gum line, and necessitates intensive scaling for removal.

Failure to address tartar accumulation leads to severe gum inflammation, eventual gum recession, and tooth loss. Additionally, it results in foul breath and serves as a persistent source of oral infection.

The progression of “periodontal disease” not only affects oral health but also triggers systemic issues like diarrhea, vomiting, pain, irritability, and sadly, premature organ failure.

Untreated dental and gum diseases facilitate the entry of bacteria into the bloodstream, ultimately reducing the lifespan of your beloved companion. Prevention is key to avoiding dental ailments and safeguarding your pet’s overall well-being.


“Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition occurring in adult dogs and cats and is entirely preventable.”

American Veterinary Dental College


5 Effective Tips for Preventing Dental Disease in Your Pet

Caring for your pet’s dental health is crucial for their overall well-being. Below are five effective strategies to help prevent dental disease and maintain your furry friend’s oral hygiene.

  • Offer appropriate chew items: Consider providing rawhide, hard rubber toys, or specially formulated hard treat foods designed to promote dental health. These items encourage chewing, which can help reduce plaque buildup and support oral hygiene.
  • Consider adding a teaspoon of vinegar to your pet’s water: Vinegar, when used in moderation and as recommended by a veterinarian, might help maintain oral pH levels. This addition to their water can potentially discourage the growth of bacteria that contribute to dental issues.
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups: Just like humans, pets benefit from routine dental examinations. Plan yearly check-ups with your veterinarian to assess your pet’s oral health, identify any emerging issues, and implement preventive measures promptly.
  • Follow professional cleaning recommendations: Veterinarians often recommend professional dental cleanings for pets. Schedule these cleanings as advised by your veterinarian to remove tartar buildup, address early dental issues, and maintain your pet’s oral health.
  • Maintain consistent dental care habits: Beyond these tips, maintain a routine of at-home dental care for your pet. Regular brushing, using pet-friendly toothpaste, and implementing dental care practices recommended by your veterinarian can significantly contribute to your pet’s oral hygiene.

Remember, your active involvement in your pet’s dental care significantly contributes to their overall health and well-being. Always consult with us for personalized advice and guidance tailored to your pet’s specific needs.”


Professional Dental Cleaning

During a professional dental cleaning, your pet receives a complete physical exam, teeth scaling, precise polishing, and an antiseptic flushing procedure.

Just drop off your pet in the morning and expect to pick them up by the end of the day.

While anesthesia is needed for this procedure, the risks associated with anesthesia are typically far lower than the risks of neglecting dental care.


Here’s How We Perform a Veterinary Dental Procedure

Our meticulous professional dental procedure encompasses laboratory testing for organ function evaluation, light anesthesia for comfort, thorough teeth scaling, precise polishing, antiseptic flushing, and fluoride coating for optimal oral health.

Our dental procedure includes:

  • Conducting laboratory tests to evaluate underlying organ function and assess anesthetic safety for your pet’s well-being.
  • Utilizing light anesthesia to ensure your pet’s comfort while ensuring a thorough cleaning and treatment process.
  • Thoroughly scaling the teeth, targeting tartar both above and below the gum line, using a combination of hand instruments and advanced ultrasonic cleaning equipment.
  • Skillfully polishing the teeth post-scaling to create smooth surfaces, enhancing resistance to future plaque formation.
  • Administering an antiseptic flush throughout the oral cavity to eliminate bacterial presence comprehensively.
  • Applying a fluoride coating aimed at reducing tooth sensitivity, strengthening enamel, combating bacteria, and minimizing future plaque formation.

In some cases, pets may need antibiotics or pain medication after a dental cleaning. We will fully assess your pet’s situation and make the appropriate recommendations based on the situation.


Veterinary Dentistry FAQs

1. Why does veterinary dentistry require anesthesia?

Veterinary dentistry often requires anesthesia for several reasons:

  • Pet Cooperation: Pets, unlike humans, don’t understand the need to remain still during dental procedures. Anesthesia ensures your pet remains calm and motionless, allowing us to perform a thorough examination and necessary dental work without causing distress or injury to your pet.
  • Safety and Comfort: Dental procedures involve intricate work inside the mouth, including scaling, polishing, and potentially extractions. Anesthesia ensures the pet remains pain-free and immobile throughout the process, preventing sudden movements that could result in injury to both the pet and the veterinary staff.
  • Control and Precision: Anesthesia allows us to work with precision, ensuring a thorough and effective dental cleaning or treatment. It enables the veterinarian to access all areas of the mouth, perform X-rays if necessary, and address any underlying dental issues without causing discomfort to the pet.
  • Reduced Stress: Anesthesia minimizes stress and anxiety for the pet during the dental procedure. It prevents fear or discomfort associated with the handling, noises, or sensations that might occur during dental work.


While anesthesia does carry some inherent risks, modern anesthetic techniques and careful monitoring by trained veterinary professionals significantly mitigate these risks. The benefits of performing thorough and effective dental procedures often outweigh the potential risks associated with anesthesia, especially considering the long-term health and well-being of your pet.

2. How safe is veterinary dentistry?

Veterinary dentistry, like any medical procedure, carries some inherent risks. However, with proper precautions, trained professionals, and modern techniques, veterinary dentistry is generally safe for pets.

We prioritize safety in every aspect of our veterinary dentistry procedures. Our trained team ensures that every dental procedure is conducted with precision and care, prioritizing the well-being of your pet.

We meticulously monitor anesthesia during dental procedures using advanced equipment tailored to your pet’s individual needs. Preoperative evaluations are standard practice to assess overall health and identify any potential risks beforehand.

With access to modern tools and techniques, such as ultrasonic scaling equipment, we deliver precise diagnosis and treatment for various dental issues.

After the procedure, we provide thorough postoperative care, including pain management and antibiotics if needed, ensuring a smooth recovery for your pet.

We also take pride in educating pet owners on proper dental care practices at home, offering guidance on hygiene practices, diet recommendations, and regular check-ups to maintain your pet’s oral health and prevent future dental problems.

At every step, your pet’s safety and well-being are our top priorities, and we strive to provide the highest standard of care in veterinary dentistry.

3. Will you let me know if any teeth need to be pulled?

Yes, we will let you know if and how many teeth require removal before we pull them. Just make sure you are available!

4. After anesthesia, will my pet be in pain?

No! We will give medications to make sure your pet is not in pain.

5. How often does my pet need a dental?

It depends! Some smaller dogs need dental every year or two. Others only require a dental every few years. And some, never need a dental. It just depends on your pet. We recommend a dental only if your pet needs one.

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