Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

South Des Moines Veterinary Center South Des Moines Veterinary Center

Online Store

Specialty Medications


Request an Appointment

Request Pet Pick-up/Drop-off

Pet Dentistry: More Than a Great Smile!

Pet being given dental exam

South Des Moines Veterinary Center provides pet dentistry services. We focus exclusively on dog and cat dental procedures. Pet dental health is critical to your pet’s wellbeing and overall wellness plan. More than 70% of dogs and cats have dental disease by the age of 3! Periodontal disease can cause oral (mouth) pain, tooth loss, and can lead to heart, liver, or kidney disease and infections. During the dental assessment, we will look for the common signs of dental disease including:

  • Tartar and plaque buildup
  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Exposed roots
  • Cavities (called resorptive lesions)

Signs of Pet Dental Problems

We are happy to discuss and demonstrate ways you can protect your pet against dental disease at home. Some of the options include regular brushing or rinsing and/or special dental treats. Depending on the severity of dental disease, dental home care may not be enough, and your pet will need veterinary intervention. Please inform us if you notice any symptoms of dental problems in your pet, such as:

  • Bad breath
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Swelling on the face, below the eye
  • Depression
  • Excessive drooling
  • Loose teeth

What to Expect at Your Veterinary Dental Cleaning Visit

When a professional pet dental cleaning is needed, based on the dental assessment, this one-day service will be performed by our skilled veterinary team.

We begin with a physical exam, pre-dental pain medications, pre-dental photos, and pre-anesthetic blood work to ensure your pet’s safety during the procedure. Your pet’s comfort is important to us, and we perform all dental cleanings with general anesthesia. We develop individualized anesthesia protocols for each patient, and all of our patients are intubated (a tube in the windpipe) and maintained on gas anesthesia.

Our highly skilled veterinary team will administer the anesthetic and will constantly monitor your pet’s heath every step of the way. This includes EKG and blood pressure monitoring and assessing oxygen and CO2 levels. During the cleaning we will remove tartar buildup, assess your pet’s gum health, perform any needed tooth extractions, polish teeth, and end with a fluoride rinse.

After the procedure, we will take additional photos, monitor your pet’s recovery, and send your pet home with antibiotics, when needed, to improve gum tissue healing after cleaning, pain medication if needed, and a choice of a home dental care kit or dental chews.

Please contact us to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions or concerns regarding the dental procedure. We welcome new clients and look forward to providing comprehensive dental care for your pet — we love them too!