Dental Care & Teeth Cleaning for Dogs Is Key to a Healthy Life

chocolate lab at oral check with professional pet dentists

Facts About Oral Disease

Bad breath is not normal! Halitosis, or bad breath, is often the first sign of dental problems in our pets. Periodontal disease is the most common and most overlooked disease of dogs and cats. It can cause significant pain and often goes untreated. It is estimated that more than 85% of cats and dogs over the age of three suffer from gum disease. If left untreated, dental problems in dogs and cats can lead to larger systemic issues due to oral bacteria entering the bloodstream and damaging the kidneys, heart and liver. Additionally, bacteria and food debris accumulate around our pets’ teeth and, if unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the surrounding soft tissue and bone. This decay results in irreversible periodontal disease and may cause loss of teeth.

Signs That Your Pet May Need Dental Care

  • Bad breath
  • Drooling or excessive salivation
  • Dropping food from the mouth
  • Pawing at the teeth or mouth
  • Discoloration or staining of teeth
  • Visible tartar on the teeth
  • Red, irritated, swollen, or bleeding gums

  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Difficulty eating
  • Discharge from the nose
  • Swelling under the eye
  • Weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Shying away from you when you touch their mouth area

Pet Dental Care

At Pewaukee Veterinary Service, every patient is routinely examined for oral health issues. Recommendations can be made for any corrective procedures and our staff is here to provide additional training and support for ongoing oral hygiene at home.

Once the oral exam is complete, the doctor and technical staff will provide a treatment plan specifically tailored to your pet.

Thorough dental cleanings are often performed under general anesthesia to ensure complete cleaning of all tooth surfaces above and below the gum line. This not only protects your pet from stress and injury but also allows them to have a pain free experience. Ask our staff about sedation dentistry to see if it is a good option for your pet.

We realize that many owners are concerned about anesthetizing their pets. While there is always a slight risk when using anesthesia, we use only the safest available anesthetics.

To further ensure your pet’s safety, treatment plans will include pre-anesthesia blood testing and laboratory work to establish your pet has no hidden health concerns. Your pet’s medical team will create an individualized anesthetic plan tailored to your pet’s needs.

Pre-emptive pain or sedation medications are given to your pet prior to the anesthetic procedure to ensure your pet is relaxed before, during and after the procedure. A catheter is placed to provide intravenous fluid and medical support throughout the procedure.

Each patient undergoing an anesthetic dental cleaning is monitored by trained medical staff and is under direct supervision at all times. State-of-the-art technology and advanced training ensure your pet receives the safest experience available. Continuous anesthetic monitoring is performed at all times including the pet’s blood pressure, body temperature, electrocardiogram (EKG), pulse oximetery and capnography. Body temperature is monitored and maintained during the procedure and recovery by use of a warming blanket system. Dedicated trained assistants stay with your pet during recovery to ensure they are comfortable.

During the procedure a certified veterinary technician specializing in dentistry will remove all deposits of tartar from the teeth and under the gum line using specialized ultrasonic equipment along with subgingival hand scaling. Teeth and gingiva are probed for irregularities and pocket formations. Digital radiographs are obtained to ascertain the condition of the teeth, particularly below the gum line, to determine periodontal disease such as root abscesses, root fracture, root and crown resorption, dental anomalies, and bone lysis associated with oral tumors and fractures.

Upon completion of cleaning and x-rays your veterinarian performs a complete oral examination. If un-expected additional oral surgery is deemed necessary, you will be contacted and additional services can be completed immediately during your pet’s procedure in most cases. Teeth are then polished smooth and rinsed with bacteria destroying solutions to freshen breath.

Services We Provide:

Oral Surgery

  • Oral tumors
  • Missing teeth
  • Palatal defects
  • Difficult extractions
  • Oronasal fistulas
  • Dislocated teeth


  • Treatment of fractured teeth with and without pulp exposure
  • Treatment of discolored teeth
  • Crown reduction or vital pulp therapy
  • Treatment of tooth abscesses
  • Root canal


  • Treatment of periodontal disease
  • Periodontal therapy (tooth scaling/polishing)
  • Root probing
  • Mucogingival surgery

Feline Dentistry

  • Feline tooth resorption
  • Feline gingivostomatitis

Pediatric Dentistry

  • Persistent deciduous teeth
  • Malocclusions/Bite plates
  • Missing teeth
  • Supernumerary teeth

Oral Disease

  • Oral manifestations of systemic diseases
  • Oral auto-immune disease