Primary Care


A healthy mouth is essential to your pet’s overall good health. Did you know that, by age three, most dogs and cats have some degree of periodontal (gum) disease? Gum disease is the most common clinical condition in adult dogs and cats; and in most cases, it is entirely preventable with good home care and routine dental care with a veterinarian.

Other than bad breath, there are actually few outward signs of periodontal disease that can be easily detected at home. Other issues like fractured teeth and oral masses may not be apparent at home, so regular check-ups with a veterinarian are vital to detecting problems early.

Your pet’s veterinarian may recommend a thorough dental exam and cleaning under general anesthesia. This procedure includes:

  • An exam of the entire oral cavity, throat, and tongue
  • An exam of each tooth for pocketing, gum recession, and signs of pain
  • Dental X-rays to check for bone loss, abscesses, and other changes
  • An extensive cleaning above and below the gum line using an ultrasonic cleaner
  • Dental extractions if needed
  • Bonded sealants for some types of tooth fractures

All of our dental procedures are performed under general anesthesia in our state-of-the-art dental suite. Two RVTs are dedicated to each and every dental patient at VCA Pinnacle. If you have any questions about anesthesia or the procedure itself, please don’t hesitate to call your VCA Pinnacle Veterinarian or visit The American Veterinary Dental College.