(02) 4362 1644
10 Pacific Highway, Ourimbah NSW 2258
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 8:30am - 7:00 pm
Sat: 8:30am - 1:00 pm Sun: 9:00am - 11:00 am

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Dental disease is a common problem in dogs and cats. Studies have shown that almost 4 out of 5 dogs over 3 years of age suffer from some degree of periodontal disease, and that at least 1 out of every 3 cats have one or more dental resorptive lesions, which progressively destroy tooth structure and cause significant pain. These are the main signs to look for with dental disease:

  • bad breath

  • gingivitis (red,inflamed gums)

  • excess salivation (drooling)

  • plaque & calculus (tartar)

  • difficulty or pain when eating

  • broken or worn teeth

  • loose teeth

Plaque (a mixture of food particles, saliva, and bacteria) builds up within hours on a clean tooth, and can cause gingivitis within 48 hours. If not removed, plaque can mineralise to form calculus (tartar) within days. It is the bacteria in plaque that causes all the damage: the gums become inflamed, infection spreads to deeper tissues (including bone), and the tooth may become loose and fall out. The infection associated with dental disease can also affect other organs in the body, including the heart, liver and kidneys.


Plaque can be controlled at home (see below), but the removal of calculus needs to be performed at a veterinary hospital. This requires a general anaesthetic in order to clean below the gum line, where the disease is occurring. Some of the dental services we offer at Ourimbah Veterinary Hospital include:

  • detailed oral examinations

  • scaling & polishing

  • extractions

  • general oral surgery

  • dental radiograph (dental x-rays).

Our comprehensive 10 step dental plan includes:

 preoperative sedation & pain medication

✔ full oral exam by veterinarian

✔ dental charting

hand scaling

✔ ultrasonic scaling

✔ sub-gingival curettage

✔ slow speed polish

✔ complete dental & oral cleaning

✔ dental homecare consultation

✔ comprehensive periodontal treatment handout


Dental radiography is strongly recommended in all but the healthiest of mouths. Most dental disease occurs below the gingiva (gums), and cannot be seen with the naked eye. X-rays allows us to examine the internal anatomy of the teeth, the roots, and the bone that surrounds the roots. Why do we take an x-ray of an animal with a suspected broken leg? To see what is hidden under the skin. The same idea applies to veterinary dentistry. Dental radiographic images help establish diagnosis, in planning treatment, and in performing dental procedures. Without these images, we are guessing what is happening, and operating ‘blind’


Regular at-home dental care can reduce the incidence of dental disease in your pet. A combination of the following will ensure that your pet's teeth and gums remain in good health:


✔ Feeding dry food (kibble) as part of their daily diet

✔ Giving dental treats in moderation (e.g. Greenies(r))

✔ Daily brushing with an animal toothpaste (do not use human toothpaste)

✔ A variety of water additives, rinse and gels


We recommend that every dog and cat has their teeth checked at least once every 6 months, in order to prevent the progression of dental disease. This will give them the best chance to avoid the associated pain and health problems that are commonly seen.

Click here to book in for your pet's free dental check