Petworks Veterinary Services


Clean teeth and gums are essential to your pets health. Infections may go undetected by the owner for a long time.

Regular dental cleaning and exams and peridontal care are offered at Petworks Veterinary Hospital in Overland Park, KS. Dental health is a vital part of your pet’s health!

Monitor Your Pet’s Dental Health

During a routine annual exam Dr. Callicott will look at your dog or cat’s teeth and gums. This is an important part of the wellness check. Dental hygiene for your pet is important for their overall health. It is just as important as routine vaccinations, nutrition, and exercise, to name a few. So, pay attention to those pearly whites. Your furry friend’s need dental care just like we do.

Your pet’s teeth and gums should be examined at least once a year at a routine visit. Dr Callicott will look at your cat or dog’s teeth and gums to make sure there is no evidence of dental disease. If he finds any symptoms of dental disease, he may recommend a “dental”. The word “dental” is a short term for dental cleaning. If you notice any problems before their annual visit, please contact Petworks Veterinary Hospital to schedule an appointment. Catching teeth problems early will help avoid severe dental disease. Some signs that you can look for at home are bad breath, reluctance to chew, an increase in saliva production, red or swollen gums, bleeding gums and missing or loose teeth.


Signs of Dental Problems Include:

  • Bad Breath
  • Yellowish brown crust on the teeth near the gum line
  • extra teeth or baby teeth
  • Red/swollen gums
  • Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or their gums are touched
  • Decreased eating or refusal to eat
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth

Dental problems if left untreated may lead to larger problems due to oral bacteria entering the blood stream, such as kidney, heart and liver problems.

A routine trip to the dentist, for humans, helps prevent gum disease, tooth decay and infections. The same is true for our pets. They need routine dental care to prevent other illnesses. The plaque buildup on teeth turns into tartar. These areas of tartar grow bacteria, which can eat away at the teeth and gums. However, these bacteria can cause more problems than just in the mouth. The excess bacteria can also affect other parts of the body and are linked to heart disease, kidney disease, lung disease and bladder infections. So, maintaining routine dental exams for your pet keeps their teeth healthy as well as protecting other vital organs. The early detection and treatment of dental disease is important, not matter how minor.

Some pets are more likely to become seriously ill because of dental disease. Pets in the most danger are those with endocrine disease, such as diabetes.

Other dangers include, a poor immune system or senior pets.


Causes of Pet Dental Problems:

Cavities in pets are less frequent than in peoplem, they can develope similar dental problems that we do.

  • Broken teeth
  • Peridontal disease
  • Abscesses or infected teeth
  • Cysts or tumors in the mouth
  • Fractured jaw

One of the most common problems in dogs and cats is peridontal disease.  This is a condition that your veterinarian should check yearly and give your pet a score.  The score is from normal (0) to severe (4). The disease begins with plaque that hardens to tartar. The tartar above the gum line can usually be seen and removed. However, the tartar below the gum line sets the stage for infection, damage to bone, and tissue.

The treatment of peridontal disease requires a thorough cleanig of all the teeth. Further tests may be needed, such as x-rays, to determine what stage the disease is in. And, to recommend a treatment plan with you.


How you can Help Monitor your Pet’s Dental Health

The simplest way to keep track of your pet’s teeth and overall health is to look at them on a regular basis. There are other things you can do to keep your dog or cats dental health in good shape. Also, remember to be on the watch for any signs that may indicate a problem.

In order to monitor and help to prevent dental disease is to brush your pet’s teeth on a routine basis. It is best to start brushing your dog’s teeth they are puppies. Tooth brushing early on allows the puppy to get used to the feeling. Petworks Veterinary Hospital carries dental care kits. The kits include a toothbrush, toothpaste (various flavors) and an alternate fingertip brush. Petworks also carries Greenies and Oravet dental chews. The dental chews are made in different sizes to match the size of your dog. Petworks also carries Hill’s prescription dog food for dental health. Please ask Dr. Callicott or one of the nurses about ways you can help with your pet’s dental health. Remember, the care you give at home can make all the difference.


What Happens During my Pet’s Dental Procedure

A professional dental cleaning can be performed here at Petworks Veterinary Hospital. Many pet parents have several questjions about dentistry and oral health in general. This is how it begins…

Your pet will have a pre-anesthetic exam to assess its current condition,check heart and respiration(i.e. organ function,determine if there are any underlying conditions such as anemia or clotting disorders). The patient is given a pre-medication which reduces the anxiety and pain. This calms the pet and enables the induction of the anesthesia to be easier and safer.An IV catherter is placed and an intravenous anesthesia is administered which will make the pet drowsy. Using this same catheter, intravenous fluids are administered throughout the procedure which keeps the pet well -hydrated and promotes a smooth recovery. This also gives us access to a vein in the event of an emergency developing. Next, an endotracheal tube is placed which allows the doctor and/or veterinary technician to control the amount of anesthetic gas and oxygen that is given to the patient during the dental cleaning. Once the pet is completely anesthetized, a thorough oral examination is performed to assess the condition of each tooth. Every tooth and every surface is then cleaned above and below the gum line. Further examination with a dental probe helps us determine the general health of the tooth and to ensure there are not gingival issues. If any problems are noted, we recommend dental radiographs be taken of any teeth that are in question. This diagnostic tool will help us determine whether extractions are warranted. Finally, the teeth are then polished and fluoride is applied.

The final piece of the puzzle is with the pet parents. Regular home dental care is just as important as yearly professional dental cleanings. Daily tooth brushing is the absolute best thing you can do to keep the teeth clean.


How can I Help my Pet’s Oral Health?

Consistent dental assessments and cleaning are important to prevent the most common dental diseases.. We have products to brush your pet’s teeth at home.  We also have Oravet dental chews or Greenies for your pet to keep their teeth healthy between cleanings.

Overland Park KS Petworks Veterinary Clinic

Time for a check-up

Your pet’s teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian for early signs of problems and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.


You can find a range of products designed especially for keeping dogs’ teeth clean and their mouths fresh. Some of them even clean a dog’s teeth without brushing. 


Some pets become irritable when they have dental problems, and any changes in your pet’s behavior should prompt a visit to your veterinarian. Always be careful when evaluating your pet’s mouth, because a painful animal may bite.

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