Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How often should my dog or cat have their teeth cleaned?
  2. How can regular dental cleanings save me money in the long run?
  3. Are you approved for payments from pet insurance?
  4. What payment options are available?
  5. Don’t all general practice veterinary clinics do dental cleanings? Why choose Forever Pet Dental?
  6. Will my pet go under gas anesthesia for dental treatments?
  7. I’m afraid of putting my pet under anesthesia, aren't they too old?
  8. Are there risks associated with dental cleanings, extractions, and anesthesia?
  9. What happens if my pet needs to have a tooth extracted?
  10. Wouldn't it be better to get an anesthesia-free dental cleaning for my pet?
  11. Do you offer any other services? What do they cost?
  12. How long does a dental cleaning procedure take?
  13. Do you provide services for other animals besides dogs and cats?
  14. Should I bring my pet in if they have a broken tooth?
  15. Are there alternatives to extracting my pet’s teeth?
  16. Where does bad breath come from?
  17. How many teeth does my dog have?
  18. How many teeth does my cat have?
  19. What can I do at home to prevent dental disease?
  20. What are some common signs of dental disease?
  21. Why is recent blood work important?
  22. What vaccines should my pet have?
  23. Is dental treatment painful afterward?
  24. What causes a dog to break its teeth?
  25. Can dogs and cats get cavities?

1. How often should my dog or cat have their teeth cleaned?

At Forever Pet Dental we agree with the American Animal Hospital Association’s recommendation:

“[Dental cleanings and oral evaluations should be performed] when abnormalities are noted, or at least on an annual basis starting at 1 year of age for cats and small-breed dogs and at 2 years of age for large-breed dogs.”

At Forever Pet Dental we want to make dental care for animals affordable and available to every pet owner and part of their regular general health routine because it is more important than many pet owners realize. Annual oral evaluation for gingivitis, tartar, and other dental diseases is crucial to your pet’s health.

2. How can regular dental cleanings save me money in the long run?

By providing annual dental cleanings you can ensure that you are paying only $195 every year and keeping your pet healthy. Without these annual cleanings your pet is at risk of requiring multiple extractions down the line which could result in a bill of one thousand dollars or more, having an infection in a tooth root that could cost hundreds of dollars to treat, or multiple veterinary visits and blood work bills as your pet gets older and begins to get sick from the dental disease and bacteria in their bloodstream and organs. But annual dental cleanings can do more than save you money, they can save your pet from chronic dental pain, early signs of aging, and early organ disease. Many people have noted that after having painful, diseased teeth removed their pet seemed years younger!

3. Are you approved for payments from pet insurance?

Yes, pet insurance is definitely an option for customers of Forever Pet Dental. With pet insurance the pet owner pays the bill in full and submits a claim to their pet insurance provider for reimbursement. As a veterinary care provider with a licensed veterinarian we are eligible for pet insurance companies to reimburse our clients for care provided. There are quite a few pet insurance plans available, most only would cover dental injuries such as extraction of fractured teeth, but some do offer plans with benefits including routine dental care. Two insurance plans that do offer some routine dental care coverage are VPI and Petsbest.

4. What payment options are available?

We accept cash, check, debit, and credit cards (except American Express). In order to keep our prices as low as possible, we do require payment on the day of service and do not offer payment plans. We do not currently accept care credit as this creates a per transaction fee for veterinary clinics which would force us to raise our prices.

5. Don’t all general practice veterinary clinics do dental cleanings? Why choose Forever Pet Dental?

Yes, most veterinary clinics provide in-house dental cleanings. These are offered on a routine basis for owners who can and want to keep up on recommended preventative care, but also for those owners with a pet with a fractured tooth or tooth root infection that requires treatment. General veterinary practitioners are typically trained in dental extractions on the job, so which clinics and vets provide this care depends on the veterinarians present and their training. Dental radiography (x-rays) are not present in all veterinary clinics but it is quickly becoming the standard of care to offer these services. Many general veterinary clinics also have much higher fees for their services or have hidden charges for dental x-rays, etc. Some also do not provide anesthetic monitoring or intravenous fluids during the procedure, which may put your pet at greater risk while under anesthesia. At Forever Pet Dental we are committed to keeping things simple and affordable. Our dental cleaning packages are always $195 with no surprise charges and include the best dental care and anesthetic safety and monitoring. With Forever Pet Dental you will always know exactly what your bill will be.

6. Will my pet go under gas anesthesia for dental treatments?

Yes, as recommended by the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC):

“For a thorough, safe dental cleaning in veterinary patients, anesthesia is essential, as this permits a comprehensive assessment of the tissues, allows dental [x-rays to be taken] when indicated, followed by the cleaning (scaling and polishing procedure) itself. So-called “anesthesia-free dental scaling” is not recommended by AVDC.”

The American Animal Hospital Association agrees, stating:

“Use well-monitored inhalation anesthesia with cuffed intubation when performing dental cleanings. These techniques increase safety, reduce stress, decrease the chances of adverse sequelae (e.g., inhalation pneumonia), and they are essential for thorough and efficient evaluation and treatment. Attempting to perform procedures on an awake patient that is struggling or is under sedation/injectable anesthesia reduces the ability to make an accurate diagnosis, does not allow adequate treatment, and increases stress and risks to the patient.”

At Forever Pet Dental we perform dental cleanings under gas anesthesia. This is the best method to safely perform all the necessary treatments and keep your pet safe and their mouth healthy. Without anesthesia it is not possible to take dental x-rays, clean and polish all surfaces of the teeth thoroughly, clean and probe under the gum line where dental disease is most active, and extract teeth if needed. Without anesthesia there is a major risk of missing dental disease. Many of the anesthesia free dental cleaning companies even recommend an annual anesthetic dental cleaning and dental x-rays to maintain your pet’s oral health.

7. I’m afraid of putting my pet under anesthesia, aren't they too old?

Although the risk of anesthesia may be slightly increased for older animals due to normal aging of the body’s organs, age is not a disease and should not be a reason to forego dental treatments. At Forever Pet Dental we perform a physical exam prior to an anesthetic procedure to ensure that your dog or cat has a healthy heart and lungs, and we recommend blood work be performed prior to the treatment to ensure that their internal organs are functioning properly. Even patients with health problems can have an anesthetic procedure safely performed to receive excellent dental care. The risk of anesthetic related death in pets is estimated to be significantly lower than 1%, while the likelihood of chronic pain and suffering from untreated dental disease may be closer to 100%. The benefits of a healthy, pain free mouth definitely outweigh the minor risks of anesthesia.

8. Are there risks associated with dental cleanings, extractions, and anesthesia?

At Forever Pet Dental we take every precaution and use state-of-the-art technology, strict patient monitoring, physical examination, and lab testing to significantly reduce the risks associated with anesthesia, but risk can never be fully eliminated. You can be assured at Forever Pet Dental that we devote our time and attention to your pet because they are our exclusive focus during their dental procedure and anesthetic recovery.

9. What happens if my pet needs to have a tooth extracted?

During a dental cleaning procedure if we identify a problematic tooth we will take a dental x-ray (at no additional cost to you) and further evaluate the area to determine the best treatment. Based on the physical exam, oral exam, and dental x-rays we will create a treatment plan and estimate for you and your pet. This second procedure can then be scheduled at your convenience and you will know exactly what the cost of that procedure will be.

10. Wouldn't it be better to get an anesthesia-free dental cleaning for my pet?

Unfortunately anesthesia-free dental cleanings are insufficient in allowing complete oral examination and dental cleaning. Without anesthesia it is not possible to take dental x-rays, clean and polish all surfaces of the teeth thoroughly, probe the entirety of the gum line, and extract teeth if needed. Without anesthesia there is a major risk of missing dental disease. Many of the anesthesia free dental cleaning companies even recommend an annual anesthetic dental cleaning and dental x-rays to maintain your pet’s oral health.

For more information, click on the following link to see the American Veterinary Dental College’s position: http://www.avdc.org/dentalscaling.html

11. Do you offer any other services? What do they cost?

Yes, we offer a range of services including the following:

Oravet dental sealant application
Anal gland expression (internal)
Bloodwork-Pre-operative panel
Bloodwork-Senior panel (including urinalysis)
Clip and Clean (including mats)
Ear cleaning
Ear hair plucking
Fecal analysis including Giardia screen
Fluoride treatment
Mass Removal-surgical
Urinalysis
Vaccine-Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
Vaccine-FeLV (Feline Leukemia virus)
Vaccine-FVCRP (Feline Distemper/Calicivirus/Panleukopenia combo)
Vaccine-DAPP (Canine Distemper/Adenovirus/Parvo/Parainfluenza combo)
Vaccine-DAPPL (DAPP with Leptospirosis Combo)
Vaccine-Lepto (Leptospirosis alone)
Vaccine-Purevax Rabies (One year rabies)
Vaccine-Rabies (Three year rabies)

We also offer a range of products including:

Advantage Multi monthly topical flea medication
CET oral rinse to prevent dental tartar
Dental treats- for dogs and cats
Fortiflora - a probiotic for dogs and cats
Frontline monthly topical flea medication
Dental diets for dogs and cats
Toothbrushes and tooth paste for dogs and cats
Ear cleaner
Trifexis monthly oral flea medication

Please call (360) 859-3790 for pricing information and an estimate for your pet.

12. How long does a dental cleaning procedure take?

Dental cleanings typically take anywhere from 45 to 75 minutes depending on the amount of tartar in the mouth, the dental disease present, and the number of dental x-rays that need to be taken. Dental extraction procedures typically take anywhere from 1-2.5 hours.

13. Do you provide services for other animals besides dogs and cats?

No, we only provide our services for dogs and cats.

14. Should I bring my pet in if they have a broken tooth?

Yes, broken or worn down teeth often painfully expose the inner pulp chamber of the
tooth where the sensitive nerves and blood vessels lie. Without treatment this can lead to a tooth
root abscess/infection, pain for your pet, loss of appetite, and more.

15. Are there alternatives to extracting my pet’s teeth?

Sometimes there are alternative treatments for a tooth other than extraction. Some teeth
can have root canal therapy performed or crowns placed. For these procedures we refer patients
to a board-certified veterinary dentist. Often the cost is much higher than performing an
extraction, but this option may be available in some cases.

16. Where does bad breath come from?

Bad breath, or halitosis, most frequently comes from overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth. Bad breath can also come from kidney or stomach disease, or if your pet just ate something particularly bad smelling. Dental cleanings remove the bacterial overgrowth and tartar from the mouth, and should return the mouth to a normal smell, but without at home tooth brushing the bad breath is likely to return. The best way to prevent bad breath due to dental disease is annual dental cleanings and daily at home tooth brushing.

17. How many teeth does my dog have?

Dogs have 42 teeth, although they can be born with fewer or lose teeth from disease over time. They can also have more than 42 teeth if there are baby teeth that are still present that should have fallen out. These are called persistent primary or deciduous teeth and are often extracted.

18. How many teeth does my cat have?

Cats have 30 teeth, although they can be born with fewer or lose teeth from disease over time. They can also have more than 30 teeth if there are baby teeth that are still present that should have fallen out. These are called persistent primary or deciduous teeth and are often extracted.

19. What can I do at home to prevent dental disease?

-Daily at home tooth brushing.

-Dental products/treats approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC).

-Dental health diets are helpful in removing/preventing tartar build up.

20. What are some common signs of dental disease?

Signs of dental disease (periodontal disease) can include any of the following:

-Lack of appetite/not wanting to drink or eat

-Reluctance to play with toys/chew on toys

-Dropping food from mouth

-Swelling under an eye (from a tooth root infection near the eye socket)

-Drooling

-Slowing down/lethargy

-Bad breath

-Appearance of dental tartar/plaque

-Red or swollen gums

-Teeth that “chatter,” especially in cats

-Discolored or broken teeth

-Tooth loss (other than the normal loss of baby teeth)

-Pawing or rubbing at the face

-Not wanting you to touch his/her mouth or face

21. Why is recent blood work important?

Blood work is used to screen for organ dysfunction and underlying disease before an anesthetic procedure is performed. Physical examination alone may not detect these underlying diseases. We recommend that all patients scheduled for a dental cleaning procedure have blood work completed prior to their treatment. Our pre-operative blood work panel evaluates the liver, kidney, blood sugar levels, and checks for anemia, dehydration, and signs of infection.

22. What vaccines should my pet have?

Dogs typically receive 3 vaccines:

1. Rabies
2. DAPP (Distemper/Adenovirus/Parvovirus/Parainfluenze with or without Leptospirosis)
3. Bordetella (Kennel Cough) for at risk dogs (boarding, grooming, dog parks)

Cats typically receive 3 vaccines:

1. Rabies
2. FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis/Calicivirus/Panleukopenia virus)
3. FELV (Feline Leukemia Virus) for at risk cats (outdoor or indoor/outdoor)

For more information please visit our pet dental health page for general health information.

23. Is dental treatment painful afterward?

Extracting a tooth can be painful for a pet, but at Forever Pet Dental we do everything we can to keep your pet as comfortable as possible before, during, and after any dental treatments. Animals having a dental procedure completed always have a pain injection before and during their treatment, after surgery if necessary, and oral pain medications to go home if they have had teeth extracted.

24. What causes a dog to break its teeth?

Most commonly tooth breakage occurs from chewing on objects that are too hard: bones,ice cubes, and hard toys. To help prevent this, monitor your dog’s chewing on toys and provide softer alternatives for them to chew on.

25. Can dogs and cats get cavities?

Pets can get cavities, however they are much more rare in dogs and cats because their diets are generally not high in decay-causing sugars. To avoid cavities in your pet’s mouth feed only dog or cat food and treats designed for pets.