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Every Month is Dental Month

Did you know that regular dental care can add two to four years to your pet’s life?

Dental and oral hygiene is important for every pet’s health. Regular dental care helps protect your pet from tooth and gum disease, which can lead to more serious illnesses. Without proper dental hygiene, your pet may be susceptible to oral bacteria entering the bloodstream, causing kidney, heart, or liver problems.

Dental Cleaning Procedures

Cat Showing his Teeth

We believe that annual dental exams and cleanings are key to protecting your pet against dangerous and costly health problems later in life. Tooth and gum disease, a serious health concern, develops by 3 years old in 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats. Our goal at Hill Country Animal Hospital is to ensure your pet’s oral health throughout his or her life, whether 1 year or 10 years old. Our dental cleaning procedures are highly comprehensive and meet the highest standards for safety.

To ensure your pet’s safety and comfort, we apply the same safety procedures as we do during surgery. Every dental cleaning procedure includes the safest anesthesia and uses multiparameter monitoring, which is overseen by one of our highly-trained dental technicians. During each procedure, we do the following:

  • Dental prophylaxis
    Scaling and polishing beneath the gum line and around each tooth.
  • Thorough exam of the mouth and teeth
    Checking hard-to-see areas for abnormalities, such as fractures, pockets of decay, and gum recession.

Our procedures also include full-mouth x-rays and fluoride treatment.

Oral Surgery

Anesthetized Cat Teeth Cleaning

When needed, Hill Country Animal Hospital performs tooth extractions to protect your pet from bacteria and infection, as well as alleviate pain caused by an unhealthy tooth. Other procedures may also be performed to preserve the tooth and prevent future extraction. This includes use of sealants when there is damage to the crown of the tooth, and also the use of an antibiotic gel to help strengthen the bone and its surrounding roots, as well as to prevent infection.

As with our other surgeries, all tooth extractions and other procedures are performed using customized anesthesia and comprehensive monitoring. Our goal at Hill Country Animal Hospital is to provide the highest standard of care to ensure your pet is safe and comfortable.

Digital Dental Radiography

Digital Dental radiographs, also known as x-rays, are key in evaluating your pet’s dental health. High-definition images such as these allow us to view your pet’s gum line and jaw-areas that we are unable to see in a routine examination. By using digital dental radiography, we can identify evidence of dental disease, such as an abscessed or fractured tooth.

At Hill Country Animal Hospital, we use Progeny® digital radiography, a state-of-the-art system that allows us to take images faster with less radiation exposure than traditional methods. All patients benefit from the use of digital dental radiography that allows us to identify dental problems before they become larger, more expensive medical problems. We take pride in using technology like digital dental radiography to better protect your cat or dog against dental disease.

Home Dental Care

Dental care doesn’t end with a visit to your veterinarian. Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly is the most effective approach to preventative dental care. A daily home dental care routine protects against dental disease and may increase your pet’s longevity. Brushing your pet’s teeth at home may also save you money on more extensive dental procedures, such as tooth extractions.

Our veterinary office is committed to helping you create an effective dental care regimen for your pet. We offer complimentary post-dental cleaning trainings on how to properly brush your pet’s teeth. After your pet’s dental cleaning is completed and his mouth has healed, we ask you to return to our hospital free of charge. During this time, we check your pet’s mouth to make sure everything looks healthy, and we will show you how to care for his teeth at home.

As part of this service, we provide you with a complimentary oral hygiene kit that contains a toothbrush and toothpaste. Our staff is also available to help you select the most appropriate dental products for your pet. We offer a wide variety of toothbrushes, toothpastes, oral rinses, and dental chews in our hospital or from our online store.

As part of the training, our friendly staff members also teach you how to recognize the signs and symptoms of dental problems, which may include:

  • Bad breath (one of the first signs of dental disease)
  • Yellow-brown plaque on the teeth near the gum line
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or is touched
  • Decreased appetite or difficulty eating

Home dental care is essential to the overall health of your pet. Our goal at Hill Country Animal Hospital is to provide you with the tools you need to prevent dental disease and protect your companion.

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From Facebook:

This was my first visit with a dog that I had had for a week and a half. I wanted him thoroughly examined for health and a neuter. I had a number of questions since it's been a long time since I have had a younger dog and Dr. Rooker took all of the time necessary to answer all of my questions. I'm afraid I kept everyone there late and I really appreciate the excellent experience. You are my new veterinarian.
Dori O., Helotes, TX
You do everything well! From the second you walk in the door you are greeted by name, told "we have you checked in," etc. The veterinary assistant was so great! Dr. Krick is wonderful as is Dr. Peterson. They both share knowledge and listen well. (sic)
Stanetta C., San Antonio, TX
I called afterwards because I thought I missed some instructions and the front desk was able to answer my question immediately but the Dr. also called me back to clear up any confusion. My cat is 19 years old and not once did they tell me to euthanize her because of her age. The nurse who was handling her was the best, she treated my cat with care and understanding.
Becky L., San Antonio, TX
Dr. Krick and your whole team are wonderful. In addition, the overall high standards of Hill Country Animal Hospital as a whole are excellent. It is why we have remained clients over the years even after moving away from Helotes.