Northwest Veterinary Hospital

3817 Dry Creek Dr
Austin, TX 78731



Humans have a buildup of plaque in the morning that makes our breath smell bad, but with daily brushing, we keep this process under control. The goal of home dental care is to remove plaque (made up of bacteria, food debris and salivary proteins) from the teeth and gingival pockets before it mineralizes into calculus. Plaque is constantly being made and deposited in the mouth. It is soft and can be removed with dental diets, dental treats and toothbrushing. Bacteria can set up home there and can be such a problem that the kidneys, heart and other organs are systemically affected.  Tartar is plaque that has mineralized into a hard structure, that is very attached to the tooth surface. Not much can knock tartar off of a tooth wall except a sharp dental instrument in the hands of a trained professional.

Your pet's overall wellness can be greatly improved by maintaining their dental hygiene. Just as important, is making their later years more comfortable and happy.

What can we do?

Our dental services include:

Oral and dental exam checking gum health and loose or unhealthy teeth.

Dental "charting" of tooth condition 

If a cleaning is needed, a detailed estimate of what this entails.

As with all procedures involving anesthesia, pre-anesthetic bloodwork is recommended (See our Surgery Page)

Digital dental X-rays 

Dental cleaning and scaling that can go above and below the gum line.

Extractions and fracture repair of diseased or problem teeth

Polishing and flouride treatment to extend the positive effects of the cleaning.


Each year, we will check your pet's teeth and mouth as part of their annual well pet examination. If is deemed time for a dental cleaning under anesthesia, we will estimate a treatment plan for you and go over each one of the problem areas.

A skilled veterinary technician uses an ultrasonic scaler and hand instruments to remove all the tartar and calculaus from above and below the gum line.Scaling the teeth of a Golden Retriever

Dental X-Ray of a Boston Terrier Once the teeth are clean a fluoride paste is used to polish the teeth smooth, making them more resistant to future tartar development.

A veterinarian using a periodontal probe and explorer to perform a post cleaning examination. If a probe depth is greater than 2mm in dogs or 1mm in cats this indicates that periodontal disease is present and additional treatment is necessary to save the tooth.

Dental X-Ray Dental x-rays show the inside of the tooth and root. Northwest Veterinary Hospital uses the same type of dental X-ray machine found in your dentists' office. Without touching the pet's mouth, we get a good glimpse of the health of the pet's teeth. This can tell us whether or not we need to extraxct the tooth, or it could be left intact.

Cervical neck lesion in a catIn some cats, we see feline resorptive lesions. They are commonly called cavities or cervical neck lesions. These are common in cats over 5 years of age, occur at or below the gum line, and they can be quite painful.

Charting a patient's mouth is the recording of abnormalities in a pet's medical record for future reference or to design a treatment plan. Human dentists do the exact same thing.

Cats have 30 permanent teeth and dogs have 42 to keep track of. Humans have 32.

How often will your pet's teeth need to be cleaned? The frequency of dental cleanings varies between each pet and is dependent on many factors including the stage of the disease, the individual pet (For instance, older and smaller dogs will have more tartar buildup than younger and large dogs), the food they eat, and any home dental care they are getting.

What can you do at home?

DENTAL TREATS: Who doesn't want an excuse to give their pet a healthy treat? There are many now on the market and pets really love these! C.E.T. dental treats come in all difernt sizes and for cats, too. They either help to mechanically reduce the amount of tartar and plaque on a pet's teeth and/or have added enzymes to slow down tartar buildup. They even freshen the breath. And  there's also a C.E.T.AQUADENT Drinking Water Additive, which can be added to a pet's water bowl for an extra boost to oral hygiene every time your pet takes a drink. All of these have a 100% money-back guarantee if your pet says no to this idea.





TOOTHBRUSHING  is not for every pet, but some don't mind it a bit. Remember to buy pet toothpaste only, as human toothpaste can upset a pet's stomach and they cannot spit it out. Choose a pet toothpaste for the size of your pet or a very soft human toothbrush. Start with letting your pet sample the toothpaste first. If he/she doesn't like the flavor, try a different one. The C.E.T. brand toothpaste we sell has a money back guarantee, so it's easy to switch out.

Gently wipe the outside of your pet's teeth with toothpaste on it. Practice this a few times until they are comfortable with it. Then try wetting the toothbrush and work the toothpaste into te bristles so your pet won't be able to lick it off so easily. When starting to brush, place the bristles on the gumline at a 45 degree angle. Brush 3 or 4 teeth at a time in a circular motion before going onto another section. Do at least 10 strokes on each section if possible. These,too, have a 100% money-back guarantee if your pet says no to this idea.


 DIETS: Hard food and dental diets such as Hills Prescription Diet t/d and Purina DM with larger and harder biscuits can help slow down tartar buildup. These are most effective for pets who chew their food well.Hill's t/d diet

 To find out more about these foods, go to




These foods also have a 100% money-back guarantee if your pet says no.Purina DH diet