Pet Dental Care at Cottage Veterinary Care

<? echo $title ?>The Importance of Dental Care for your Pet

Good dental hygiene improves your pet's health, vitality, and well-being; it can also add additional years to his or her life. Regular dental check-ups and teeth cleanings contribute in a big way to the best quality of life for your pet.

If left untreated, dental disease is painful, inhibits proper nutrition, and may lead to serious systemic issues that can threaten your pet's health (before symptoms are even noticeable). For example, oral bacteria that enter the bloodstream can damage your pet's kidneys, heart or liver. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats develop tooth and gum disease by just three years of age.

The veterinarians and medical team at are conscientious about your pet’s dental health. Dental care is an important component of preventive health care for dogs and cats. Proper dental care not only prevents dental and systemic disease, it also helps minimize the lifetime cost of care for your pet.

Dental Services for Your Pet

Dr. Kimberly D. Wilkins and her Pacific Grove staff believe that the centerpiece of good dental care is a complete oral exam followed by a thorough cleaning. Dental cleanings include pre-anesthetic blood work and an IV catheter—as well as ultrasonic scaling followed by polishing and an antiseptic mouth rinse, a combination designed to optimally remove plaque and slow its buildup.

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Your Pet’s Dental Cleaning at includes:

  • Oral examination under anesthesia
  • Diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease
  • Supra and subgingival scaling
  • Tooth extractions (when necessary; both routine and surgical)
  • Polishing
  • Irrigation

If we find any issues, such as evidence of gum or tooth erosion, gingivitis, or excessive plaque buildup, we will talk to you and explain our treatment options. We are experienced dental practitioners capable of providing a number of dental procedures and oral surgeries. For more complicated or severe cases, we may refer you to a board certified dental specialist.

The staff at is dedicated to educating you about the importance of your pet’s dental health. The home care products we offer are carefully researched and selected for optimum health benefits.

Home Dental Care

<? echo $title ?>Prevention is the best protection against periodontal disease.

Preventing periodontal disease by keeping your pet's teeth and gums healthy isn't just a job for your veterinarian; it's your job too. While nothing can take the place of regular visits to for checkups and cleanings, ongoing follow-up oral care at home is just as important in controlling plaque and tartar formation. This is why we send our clients home with the proper dental health care tools to use for their pet’s dental maintenance.

The goal of home dental care is to remove plaque before it mineralizes into calculus (tartar), a process that occurs within days of a teeth cleaning. Brushing your pet's teeth is the single most important procedure you can do to maintain good oral health. If performed regularly, brushing dramatically decreases the incidence of gingivitis and increases the interval between teeth cleaning appointments.

Brushing your pet's teeth is best started at a young age, before the adult teeth erupt. The younger the animal, the more likely he or she is to accept, and even enjoy, this attention. Regular brushing not only keeps your pet's teeth clean and healthy, it also enhances the bond you share. If you are unsure about how to brush your pet's teeth, please ask a staff member at for instructions. We are happy to show you the best and easiest methods. Also, please remember to always use tooth paste specifically made for pets, not people.

If brushing your pet's teeth is not possible, ask a staff member to help you select the most effective dental products for your pet.

You should also be able to recognize the signs of poor oral health. If you notice any of the following symptoms, please contact us and make a dental appointment for your pet:

  • Persistent bad breath—one of the first signs of dental disease
  • Tartar or plaque buildup (ask your veterinarian how to identify them)
  • A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Decreased appetite or difficulty eating
  • Loose or missing teeth

Feed your pet a well-balanced, commercial diet. Brushing the teeth on a daily basis is an excellent way to check tartar build-up, though once hard plaque has developed, your pet may require a dental procedure by a veterinarian. Alternatively, if you cannot provide at home maintenance, you may need to have us perform full dental scaling and polishing on a more frequent basis.