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Preventive Dental Care

Routine dental care matters.

A pet's dental health is just as important as their physical health, however, it often goes overlooked. The reality is that oral hygiene plays a huge part in ensuring your pet lives a long, healthy life.

Dental disease is a common but serious problem. Approximately 80% of pets will develop it by the time they’re three and, if left untreated, it will spread to the tooth socket and destroy bone. It also allows bacteria to travel from the mouth and through the body which can affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver and cause chronic health issues.

The good news is that dental disease is entirely preventable and with regular preventive care, you can help your pet avoid the pitfalls associated with poor oral hygiene.

How can I help my pet maintain good oral hygiene? 

The best way to make sure your pet’s teeth remain healthy is by having routine annual exams. Whether you have a puppy or kitten with a mouth full of baby teeth or an adult pet whose teeth need to be checked for plaque, tartar, or dental disease, having a veterinarian examine them is the first step to making sure they’re in good health.

During your pet’s comprehensive physical, your veterinarian will perform a dental health assessment and make recommendations for preventive care. Sometimes this will mean performing good home preventative care, other times, it will mean scheduling an appointment for a dental cleaning or extraction.

Although we recommend brushing your pet’s teeth daily as part of a good preventive care routine, we understand that it’s not always possible. Luckily, there are other ways to maintain your pet’s oral health when you can’t brush their teeth.

  • Utilize water additives 
  • Give your pet a dental chew every other day
  • Choose food and treats that control plaque and promote dental health
  • Schedule dental cleanings as recommended by your veterinarian

Pet Non-Anesthetic Dental Services

Our non-anesthetic dental option is a unique alternative to traditional dental cleaning which is completed under general anesthesia. We are excited to offer this dental service. However, not all pets are candidates.

Pets are fully awake for their dental cleaning and therefore need to be relatively calm, not head-shy, and definitely not behave aggressively in any manner. In addition, this service is not appropriate for pets who already have moderate to severe dental disease present (these pets often require work that cannot be completed while they are awake, such as dental x-rays, tooth extractions, or periodontal therapy).

Our non-anesthetic dental services are offered approximately every eight weeks. A specially trained veterinary dental hygienist comes to Hillsdale Animal Hospital to perform the scheduled cleanings. These appointments are typically scheduled at least one month in advance.

For more information, please visit

Call us at (336) 281-3344 to schedule your pet’s oral health assessment or dental cleaning. 

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