At River Road Veterinary Hospital, we take your pet's health and comfort very seriously. And that is why we take DENTISTRY very seriously. Simply put, a pet with dental disease is an unhealthy animal!

Proper pet dentistry always requires full anesthesia. We make anesthesia as safe as possible, through individual patient anesthesia and emergency plans, and dedicated anesthesia monitoring by our trained Licensed Veterinary Technicians.

Dr. Carter has a special interest in dentistry, and she performs all of our dental procedures. She is skilled at exodontics (extractions), enamel repair, and gingival surgery.

Our Licensed Veterinary Technicians are trained as dental hygienists, and only an LVT will perform your pet's dental cleaning.

We take dental radiographs (x-rays) on every cat and dog under anesthesia for a dental cleaning. Teeth are like icebergs - what you see above the gumline is only part of the tooth, and painful tooth root disease can be present even if your pet doesn't show it. The American Animal Hospital Association requires its Accredited practices (which we are) to use dental radiography.

Over the years, we have found that the biggest problems for pet owners to overcome with regard to dental care for their dogs and cats are (1) they don't see the need, especially because their pet is still eating, and (2) the cost! Holy cow is it expensive!

(1) When we are presented with a pet that has painful infection in their mouth, it can be a challenge to try to have the pet owner put themselves in their pet's place. Have you ever had a painful tooth? Did it keep you from eating? Probably not! Most pets will not show decreased appetite even with very painful dental disease. Eating is one of the prime directives of existence for dogs and cats. They don't give it up readily. And if they do? Well, there's probably more going on than meets the eye.

(2) How much did your last dental procedure cost? Did you have one extraction? A single crown? Did you receive full anesthesia? We're betting it cost over $2,000. Are we close? We are routinely faced with pets that need multiple extractions - 8 or 12 teeth, or more! The cost for these procedures, which require full anesthesia, two Licensed Veterinary Technicians, and one Veterinarian, for what is routinely a 3 to 4-hour anesthesia event, is typically $1,000 to $1,300. No argument, here -- that is a lot of money! We want to help you to understand the large amount of time and effort that goes in to proper dental treatment for dogs and cats. But more importantly, we want you to know that what you are doing for your pet is invaluable - with dental care, you are relieving pain, treating infection, and potentially extending the length and quality of their life.

Here's Dr. Carter's take on it:  Sometimes, it's just bum luck - a Labrador chews on a rock and causes a slab fracture of the fourth premolar. Ouch! You're looking at around $1,000. Left untreated, your Good Boy will experience daily pain, and, eventually, a tooth root abscess that breaks out on the cheek below the eye. Sometimes, it's genetics - your chihuahua? if you don't have his teeth professionally cleaned every year starting at age 3 or 4, we can almost guarantee that by age 10 you'll be facing multiple extractions, with a dog that has a heart murmur caused by endocarditis from an infected mouth, to the tune of at least $1,300. And the bad breath?! Whoa! Eliminating that alone is worth the cost! We're talking about the owner-pet bond, which is seriously compromised when Mr. Stinky Mouth licks you on the face!

Do you have questions or concerns about your pet's dental care? Please feel free to email us at [email protected] with your pet dental questions!

Have A Question?

Contact us today!

Office Hours


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


2nd and 4th: 8am-12pm





  • ""Caring and knowledgeable staff, excellent facilities, kindness, concern along with scientific testing and treatment. I wouldn't take my cats anywhere else. Dr. Carter exemplifies professionalism at its highest.""

Featured Articles

  • Lost Pets

    Has your pet wriggled their way through the fence or dashed out the front door? When searching for your lost pet, make sure you include these steps in your hunt. ...

    Read More
  • Should You Leave Your Cat Alone for a Long Weekend?

    So you have a trip planned for the weekend, but what should you do with your cat? Learn how to best care for your cat while you're away. ...

    Read More
  • Flea and Tick Season

    Want to protect your pet from fleas and ticks? These tips can help. ...

    Read More
  • Summer Grooming Tips

    Want to keep your pet cool and comfortable this summer? A few changes to your normal grooming routine can help. ...

    Read More
  • What to Do If Your Pet is Stung

    Don't get us wrong, we love the bees! But we don't love when our pets get stung. Follow our tips to treat and prevent bee stings on your furry best friend. ...

    Read More
  • Tips for Traveling With Your Pet

    Do you dread hitting the road with your pet? These tips may make the trip more comfortable and enjoyable for you both. ...

    Read More
  • 6 Questions to Ask At Your Senior Pet's Next Check Up

    Want to keep your senior pet healthy and happy? Ask these six questions at your pet's next check up. ...

    Read More
  • Why the Controversy About Pet Vaccinations?

    As with anything, pet vaccinations can be too much of a good thing. Similar to parents who are learning more about vaccinations for children, veterinarians and pet owners alike are beginning to question some of the standard wisdom when it comes to protecting pets. There are certain fatal diseases against ...

    Read More
  • Pet Clothes: A Fashion Statement or a Necessity?

    There is nothing cuter than a pet in a colorful sweater, but do our furry friends really need to wear clothing? Although clothing is not a necessity for every pet, some animals benefit from a little extra protection during cold or damp days. Others enjoy wearing festive clothing during holidays or other ...

    Read More
  • Introducing a New Pet to Your Current Ones

    Pet Proofing Your Home Introducing your new pet to your current one is only a single part of the equation relating to taking a new pet home. You also have to make sure your new pet is comfortable in your home, which is a foreign environment to the animal. Like humans, animals can experience high levels ...

    Read More

Newsletter Sign Up