Dental Exams & Procedures

Good oral health is important for your pet’s overall health and well-being. Here are some signs of oral and dental diseases in dogs and cats:


  • Bad breath

  • Red swollen gums

  • Loose or discolored teeth or teeth covered in tartar

  • Pet shies away when the mouth area is touched

  • Drooling or dropping food from the mouth

  • Bleeding from the mouth

  • Loss of appetite or loss of weight


Prevention of the most common oral disease in pets, as with humans, consists of frequent removal of the dental plaque and tartar that forms on teeth. Dental procedures without anesthesia and x-rays fail to exam and clean beneath the gum line to prevent periodontal disease.


The American Veterinary Dental College states “Anesthesia is essential for veterinary dental procedures, to ensure that the procedure can be completed successfully. Fear of general anesthesia is a natural concern voiced by many owners when a dental procedure is recommended.  However, the risk of chronic oral infection, for example, is far greater than the risk of an anesthetic complication.” Just like you, your pet’s mouth needs a yearly examination.


At Eastport Animal Hospital, only veterinarians conduct dental exams. Dr. Howard, who has spent hours receiving additional educational training specifically focused on pet dentals, performs all procedures, including x-rays, oral surgeries, and extractions. Many hospitals do not use x-rays, which are necessary for a thorough examination and all oral surgeries. Dr. Howard creates an anesthetic plan tailored to the individual needs of your pet and uses anesthetic monitoring equipment, including an IV catheter, endotracheal tube, and provides a bear hugger to keep your pet warm and comfortable. A licensed veterinarian technician assists every procedure. Pain management is administered throughout the night at the hospital to ensure a smooth and calm recovery.