Dentistry and Teeth Cleaning

Pet dentistry-is-offered-at-Burnaby-New-Westminster-Animal-Hospitalveterinarian-burnaby-new-westminster-compassionate-care

Your pet's dental health has a direct effect on their overall health and longevity.

Your role is to keep their teeth healthy with regular brushing as well as scheduled dental visits.

Ask us about ways to keep your pet healthy with regular dental care.

Book your pet's next dental appointment by contacting our pet care staff now.

Our Veterinary Dental Services include:

How will I know if my pet is having tooth problems or needs a veterinary dentist?

Common Dental Problems for Cats

Hills Pet Food Site - short step by step slide instructions on dental health care for your dog and cat. It's a playful site so give it a try!

Your Pet's Appointment with the Dentist

Your pet will spend a few hours with us as we work through the dental examination and cleaning. This is a general overview of an average dental appointment.

1. Animals receive a light sedation for dental procedures. Read more about why pets need dedation for teeth cleaning

2. We begin with dental x-rays (they just won't hold still for the pictures!). More information on Xrays

2. The vet will visually inspect the mouth and teeth as well as palpate each tooth to assess the overall oral health and the soundness of each tooth.

3. Your pet's teeth will be cleaned and scaled, using the same procedures that humans dentists use. 

 4. We report our findings about your pet's teeth. We may make followup recommendations.


Do Vets Have Special DentistryTraining?

Yes our vets have special training in animal dentistry, scaling, root canals and repairs of jaw fractures.

What if my pet needs a tooth removed - will I be informed?

We always try to discuss all treatment options and potential outcomes of dental cleanings and treatments before we begin.  Our trained veterinary dentists will attempt to identify teeth that will need removal or that may not survive the cleaning process before beginning the procedure. However this process is not failproof and there are rare occasions where we are surprised by a tooth loss during a cleaning or scaling. We will inform you of the tooth loss during our followup report.

My pet has never needed a dentist before - Why do they need a veterinary dentist now?

Cats and dogs that lived on farms and worked hard for their food did not need dentist. In fact, in the past the overwhelming majority of pets did not live long enough to see old age as we now know it for pets.

With the development of antibiotics, analgesics, cancer treatments and treatments for other life long pet diseases, our pets are living longer, fuller lives. Part of the logic of living longer, means that their teeth need to last them much longer than the teeth of previous generations of cats and dogs. Part of the beauty of helping pets to live longer means that we also need to be actively involved in maintaining their health.

As we stated before, we know now that oral health can greatly affect the longevity of a pet. If your goal is for your pet to live a long healthy life, then you need to join the masses of people that are brushing their pet's teeth regularly as well as having their pet's teeth cleaned by a veterinary dentist.

Puppy Teeth and Tooth Care

puppy resting

Puppy  Tooth Care

Wow, look at all those teeth. They are sooooo white! What can pet owners do to help their pets have beautiful teeth like these?

The first step is to provide tooth care to your pet, from the day they arrive. This isn't just because the teeth look good. It is also because we now know that the overall wellness of your pet is directly linked to the health of their mouth and teeth. Which means that actively brushing your pet's teeth will play a role in determining the quality of your pets life.

Here's what you can expect from the puppy and kitten care visits in the first 6 months.


 8 10 weeks

Puppies have 28 primary teeth while kittens have 26. These should all be present by 12 weeks.

  • Check for tongue abnormalities.

  • Check for palate abnormalities[eg cleft palate]

  • Check for malocclusions eg are the teeth and jaws lining up.

  • Start rubbing the gums and looking in the mouth.

12-14 week visit

  • Your pet should have all the primary teeth by now [count them!]

  • The vet will check to ensure that the teeth and jaws lining up. If not, we may recommend treatment now to prevent bigger issues to come if left.

  • Check for broken teeth- if so these may need removal.

  • Continue to rub all gum surfaces and to desensitize pet to oral examinations.

16-18 weeks

  • All adult teeth should be coming in by now.

  • Are all the primary teeth in? If not, then these may be delayed and need surgical help.

  • Are there any broken teeth.

  • Continue to rub gums but now with Oral Gel or Dentifrice to help control the gingivitis associated with the eruption of the teeth.

20-22 week visit

  • Are there persistent primary teeth? i.e. are there two teeth in one spot. If so, the primary tooth will need to be surgically removed.

  • Check for broken teeth.

At time of sterilization [most often about 6 months of age]:

(We recommend you have a formal oral examination prior to surgery to allow treatment planning for the day of surgery)

  • count the permanent teeth. If there are any missing, these areas need to be radiographed to determine if tooth is unerupted and will need surgical help.

  • if there are persistent primary teeth, then these MUST be removed surgically.

  • if there is crowding of teeth or interference of teeth, then interventive care should be instituted to correct this and prevent further disease.

  • are the molars showing pits and fissures that need to be sealed?

Here are some references to get you going.

A wonderful video on how to brush your cats teeth!
A great overview of pets dental care needs
A great video on how to brush your dogs teeth and more!