When Should My Dog Have Their First Dental Exam and Treatment?

If you’re a new puppy owner, you want to make sure your pup grows up happy and healthy. It is very common for new puppy owners to wonder when the best time to bring their puppy in for their first dental exam will be. Montana Pet Dentistry and Oral Surgery has been giving lots of pets their first dental checkup for years. We can help you determine when your puppy is ready for their first veterinary dental visit. 

Does My Puppy Need a Dental Exam?

Most dogs should have their first dental cleaning around two or three years of age. Small breed dogs should get their first dental exam no later than two years of age. They are much more susceptible to periodontal disease than larger breeds, possibly because their teeth are more crowded and they do not chew on things as vigorously. We often see signs of periodontal disease in dogs even younger than two or three years old, so don’t delay! 

Even if your pet has very little visible calculus (tartar) on their teeth, there can be painful problems hidden under the gumline that can only be found with dental X-rays. Most veterinary dentists recommend professional dental exams and treatments at least once a year for most breeds. Smaller breeds may need two visits per year in order to prevent tooth loss. 

What Happens During the First Dental Exam for Dogs?

The dental exam and cleaning procedure for dogs is relatively similar to dental exams for people. We use a variety of equipment and instruments to remove plaque and tartar and polish the teeth. After the teeth are clean, we then take dental radiographs to look for any hidden problems. 

All dogs are different, so the dental exam and treatment procedure will be tailored to your dog’s specific needs. For safety reasons, dental treatments are performed with your dog under anesthesia. We will run blood tests prior to treatment in order to check for any issues that might affect the safety of the anesthesia.

After the procedure, we will closely monitor your dog until they are fully awake and able to walk, and then you can take them home! Your dog may be sleepy afterwards for a few hours, and you should also limit food intake for a few hours immediately following the procedure. Your pet should be able to eat a normal dinner that night. 

Dog Dental Treatment in Montana

Dr. Tony Woodward is the only board-certified veterinary dentist in all of Montana and is highly experienced in treating dental disease in dogs. To schedule the first dental exam for your dog, all you need to do is call our Bozeman office and schedule an appointment. Dr. Woodward is on-site here in Bozeman full-time to handle all of your dog’s dental needs.