Dental Care

Oral health is a super important part of preventive care!

Did you know that pet dental health issues and periodontal diseases is a growing epidemic?  Can you imagine a world where humans went months or years without brushing teeth or a dentist checkup?  Can you imagine a life without brushing your teeth?  Yuck! 

Over 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have dental disease and related concerns by the young age of 3. Does your dog’s breath smell? That’s dental disease!

Dental disease leads to bad breath, painful oral infections, problems eating, and tooth loss.  Studies have confirmed the link between systemic diseases that affect the kidney, heart and liver and oral diseases.

Our staff at The Goodland Pet Hospital La Concepcion in Goleta, California, wants you to know the importance of providing high-quality pet dental services to your cat and dog.

What can you do at home?

  • Tooth brushing
  • Dental chews from your veterinarian (not the pet store)
  • Observe your pet’s mouth for changes
  • Oral spray
  • Water additive

Becoming familiar with the oral cavity of your pet is important in the overall health of your pet. Knowing what the healthy mouth looks like will help you notice early signs of oral diseases and examining the pet’s mouth starting at an early age will teach the cat or dog to be comfortable with their mouth being handled.

Starting early will lead to a lifetime of good habits for the pet and the owner.  Our doctors recommend brushing your pet’s teeth once daily.  Just like you would!  Typically, the evening is best since many of us are rushed in the morning.  It is very important to make sure you are using a pet-specific toothpaste from your veterinarian.  We have special animal-specific toothbrushes with soft-bristles designed for dogs and cats.  Ask us for a demonstration at your next visit!

Brushing teeth with pet-specific toothpaste followed by adding an oral rinse reduces bacteria and tartar build-up.

Avoid fluoride and human products as the ingredients are toxic to the family pet. 

You will find veterinarian supported pet oral chews geared for oral health in the lobby of The Goodland Pet Hospital La Concepcion.  These are an effective, quick aid to the reduction of tartar build-up. To avoid accidental choking or other injuries, supervise pets while they snack on oral chews.

Veterinarian Wellness Visits – Oral Health Check-Up

An important part of every wellness visit that your Goodland veterinarian will perform is an oral exam to assess the oral health status of the pet.  The veterinarian will check for visible gingivitis and plaque / tartar / calculus build up.  Sometimes gingival recession, a fractured tooth, vital pulp chamber exposure, or a mobile tooth may be observed in the exam room!  

Just like with humans, regular dental cleanings about once a year are vital to keeping the pet pain free and healthy.  

Small breed dogs under 25 pounds (Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, Pomeranians, Maltese, Poodles, Lhasa Apso, Yorkshire terrier, Shih Tzu, etc.) often require dental cleaning every 6-9 months to prevent disease.  With vigilant at-home care, the time between cleaning can often be extended to once yearly. 

At this wellness checkup, your Goodland veterinarian will sample blood and urine as well as take radiographs (x-rays) to prepare your dog or cat for safe anesthesia.  These diagnostics are very important to identify any potential problems that may need to be addressed to ensure that your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia.

Veterinarian COHAT Dental Cleaning

The comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment veterinary dental is a same-day outpatient procedure.  This means your pet with going home with you at the end of the day.  Your pet does not need to spend the night! 

You will hand your pet family member to the caring hands of a team member of The Goodland Pet Hospital La Concepcion in the morning around 8 am.  Your pet will have an intravenous catheter placed for direct vein access; please note a small patch of fur is shaved and the area cleaned to prevent infection.  This is very important for safety!  Your pet will receive intravenous fluid therapy to help support blood pressure and support the body systemically.  Your pet will be given medication for calming and pain control.  Your pet will always be kept as comfortable as possible!  Your pet will be placed under general anesthesia with a protected airway.  Once your pet is asleep, your veterinarian will perform a full oral health assessment.  This includes probing each tooth in 3-5 places for vertical pocketing and horizontal furcation, assessing gingivitis, locating oral tumors, ulcerations, or foreign bodies (sticks, rope, fur).  The teeth are cleaned meticulously with an ultrasonic scaler and hand curetting as needed then polished.  Once the teeth are cleaned and checked by the doctor, the sanos gingival treatment is applied as the final step before waking up.  You will be called to be let known your family member is awake and schedule a time to go home that evening.

Dental x-rays should be performed with every dental to detect dental disease that doesn’t meet the eye.  There is often hidden disease below the gum line.  Pathology below the gum line will be revealed through full mouth x-rays which can only be performed under anesthesia.  

If the dental disease is advanced, tooth extraction may be necessary.  If this is the case your veterinarian will use a local anesthetic in your pet’s mouth to ensure the best comfort possible.  Our veterinarians are experienced in tooth extraction.  Comfort and quick healing are a priority; your pet will receive in-hospital pain control and will go home with pain medication as well.  Your veterinarian will guide you on the use of antibiotics in dentistry; with infection, it is imperative to have antibiotic treatment.

If you are wondering about your pet’s oral health, schedule an appointment to have your dog or cat evaluated by one of our trained veterinarians.  Call 805-685-4513

Anesthesia Free Dental – Don’t do it!

The only way to do a full comprehensive oral examination of a cat or dog is to have them asleep under general anesthesia.  Sedation is not okay for dentistry because the airway is not protected.  The anesthesia-free dental cleanings using just valium are not safe!  Anesthetic free cleaning is simply cosmetic. 

Our doctors have witnessed rotten pet’s mouths that have had to have near full mouth extractions after years of anesthetic free cleanings.  Imagine if that pet had had professional veterinarian dental cleaning under anesthesia throughout its life!  How much pain that animal could have been spared from!

Friends don’t let friends get anesthesia-free cleaning for their pets!

On a more serious note, The American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC), has a whole website dedicated to education around the perils and disasters of anesthesia-free dentistry.

The American Veterinary Dental College Links

Welcome to The Goodland Pet Hospital!

We're open five days a week to serve the pets of Goleta, Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez, Ventura, Carpinteria, and surrounding areas.

For emergencies, please call ahead so we may be prepared for your arrival.


Mon - Thurs: 8 am – 5:30 pm
Fri: 8 am – 5 pm
Weekends: Closed

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7126 Hollister Ave
Goleta, CA 93117
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