Dentistry: Veterinary Teeth Cleaning

Your pet’s dental care is as important as your own. Just like in people, dental disease in pets can spread to other organs in the body, such as the heart, kidneys, and liver. At Rancho Santa Fe Veterinary Hospital, our veterinarians attempt to perform the best dental examination possible for your dog or cat during every physical exam, though sometimes, we are limited by your dog’s or cat’s relative comfort to getting their teeth examined. Still, based on our veterinarian’s vast experience, they can usually get a good idea of the degree of dental disease, if any, during a physical examination.

Having said that, it is only after having your dog or cat under anesthesia that our vets can take a detailed look at each tooth. Are any loose? Is there infection under the gumline? Exactly how much tarter has built up on the back molars? These are all questions best answered while your pet is examined under anesthesia.

At Rancho Santa Fe Veterinary Hospital, all dental cleaning are performed while pets are under anesthesia. In other words, we do not offer non-anesthetic teeth cleanings. The primary reason has to do with its lack of effectiveness: During non-anesthetic teeth cleanings, in general, only the visible surface of the teeth are cleaned. Just as in people, tartar and disease builds up under the gums and, left untreated, leads to serious infections. Unfortunately, reaching under the gums during non-anesthetic dental scaling for dogs and cats is, at the least, very uncomfortable for the pet, and, most of the time, impossible.

While any anesthetic procedure is prone to certain risks, our doctors and nurses do everything possible to minimize those risks. Occasionally our vets decide that for certain patients the risk of anesthesia is too high compared to the benefits of a dental cleaning. If you are concerned about the risk of anesthesia to your pet, please consult one of our veterinarians.

To get started on a dental health program please schedule an annual exam for your dog or cat. The most effective, easiest and cheapest method to keep your pet’s teeth healthy is daily brushing. Ultimately, we offer an array of services for the variety of dental issues many pets experience. Additionally, we provide preventative care and cleanings, including ultrasonic dental scaling, polishing, charting, and whole-mouth digital tooth radiography. To top it off, our doctors perform oral surgery as indicated, as well as enamel restorations. Any questions? Contact us!

Dental Care Products

C.E.T. Chew K9

C.E.T. Chews

Available for both dogs and cats, C.E.T. dental chews keep your pet’s breath fresh and keep their teeth clean. They enhance & activate a naturally occurring oral defense mechanism, and they taste great! Your dog or cat will love them. Feline C.E.T. chews only come in one size, but be sure to get the right size for your dog, or they may not be as effective.


C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Kits

This toothpaste & toothbrush can be used for your dog or cat. The kit comes with a two-sided brush, poultry flavored toothpaste, and a finger brush as well. If your dog or cat is allergic to poultry, we also sell the toothpaste by itself in vanilla flavor.

Finger Brush

Pro Dental Finger Brushes

For some pets and pet owners, using a finger brush, which slips on the finger like a thimble, can be easier than maneuvering a toothbrush. We sell them separately for your convenience.