Durham 0191 3845115

Chester Le Street 0191 3871881

Our aim is to promote awareness of the importance of Veterinary Dentistry.Dental disease doesn't just mean smelly breath - it is a whole body disease. Infection can spread to affect the kidneys, heart valves and other areas.

Our surgeries are equipped with state of the art dental facilities, with dental X-ray machines as well as high and low speed burrs, polishers, suction and ultrasonic descalers. This enable us to provide the best quality dental care.

Pet Dentistry

Abbey Veterinary Centre recognise the importance of good dental hygiene in our pets.

More than 85 percent of dogs and cats over four years old have some form of periodontal disease. Senior dogs, those 7 or years older, are especially susceptible to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a painful inflammatory condition in which bacteria attack the gums, ligaments and bone tissues that surround and support the teeth. If left unchecked, bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and travel to major organs, starting infections there and seriously compromising the health of your pet. That's why it is important to have your pet's teeth examined by your vet on a routine basis.


Build up of calculus on a tooth Dentistry is RequiredSevere Periodontal Disease. Immediate dentistry is requiredA clean toothA normal healthy mouth.

Did you know?

Warning Signs

  • BAD BREATH-one of the first signs

  • The yellowish-brown crust development of plaque on the teeth near the gum line

  • Diseased gums appear red, swollen and may bleed easilyPain or bleeding when your pet eats

  • Decreased appetite or difficulty eating

  • Loose or missing teeth

  • Many pets suffer in silence with dental disease, while some show pain and appear depressed.


If warning signs are present, your pet needs veterinary attention.

  • Giving your pet chew toys and feeding them hard or course textured food can also help remove plaque.

  • Brush your pet's teeth on a regular basis to reduce plaque build up and gingivitis. You should use a special toothbrush and toothpaste designed for pets. Avoid using toothpaste designed for people because your pet can't spit it out and it can upset your pet's stomach.

  • Visit your vet for regular dental exams and professional cleaning. Talk to your vet or nurse about professional dental care and what you can do to keep your pet's teeth and body healthy.


  • Every time your cat or dog eats, food deposits are left on the teeth. Within days, these deposits form a film called plaque, which rapidly hardens to scale or tartar

  • This tartar is a yellowy brown, and is clearly visible as it covers the teeth. It harbours many species of bacteria, which cause gum infection (gingivitis) and erosion. The smell of bad breath often gives the game away. The loss of gums eventually leads to perfectly healthy teeth falling out due to lack of support.

  • The continual low-grade infection pulls down the general health of the animal. In particular, the kidneys, heart and joints are believed to be damaged.

  • As this process is so gradual, many people are unaware of the deterioration in health, assuming the animal is just getting old.

  • Scale tends to build up significantly in middle and old age, but can be serious in some animals as young as one year old

Tooth Disease


  • Cats in particular are prone to an extremely painful disease that erodes individual teeth, leading to dentine and even nerve exposure. This is known by many names, such as Feline Resorptive lesions (FRLs or FORLs), or by the more old-fashioned term of neck lesions

  • These areas are often not visible until the scale is removed during a routine dental


  • Food deposits are a major cause of bad teeth and subsequent ill-health

  • Minimising food deposits is an essential part of looking after your pet

  • Ensure your pet is only fed once or twice a day

  • Do not allow your pet to pick at food throughout the day, pick up the meal after 5 - 10 mins if not finished

  • Use dental chews or special diets to encourage chewing and plaque removal. See us for advice on which is best for your pet!

  • The best way for you to help your pet maintain a healthy mouth, is daily brushing of their teeth


  • The first step in beginning a home dental care programme for your pet is to select a quiet, convenient time when you and your pet are both relaxed. After the evening meal is a good time for most people.

  • For the first few days, simply hold your pet in a way that is comfortable for both of you - either in your lap, or by your side - and gently stroke the outside of the cheeks with your finger for a few minutes.

  • After your pet becomes comfortable with the routine, place a small amount of CET toothpaste (see below) on your finger and let him/her sample the flavour. Pets usually like the taste of this paste and will soon consider it a treat.

  • Place a small amount of the toothpaste on the toothbrush and offer it to your pet as a lick. This gets your pet accustomed to the feel of the brush and helps assure acceptance of the brushing that will follow.

  • When you feel that your pet is comfortable with the procedure, begin the brushing by gently raising the upper lip and brushing one or two teeth in a slow, gentle, circular motion. Brush only a few teeth the first time and don't forget to give your pet a lot of praise and reassurance.

  • Gradually increase the number of teeth that you brush each day until the entire mouth is being brushed. You need only brush the outside edge of the teeth, so do not even need to open your pet's mouth.

  • It is most important to go slowly - especially if brushing is a new experience for your pet. Be patient, proceed gently and always use plenty of petting and praise.

  • Soon, both you and your pet will look forward to the time you spend together during this important health care procedure.

  • Always use a toothpaste that is especially formulated for your pet. Your family toothpaste can upset your pet's stomach and cause foaming. Also, the high level of sodium in baking soda can cause problems for some animals, especially those with a heart condition.

  • If your pet struggles a lot, you might need some help getting started. One restraining method that works is to wrap your pet in a towel or small blanket with just the head protruding. You are in much better control with the legs confined this way.

  • Good Luck !!


  • These chews are available for dogs. Regular use can reduce tartar formation by up to 40%

  • Some of these specialised chews contain enzymes to reduce plaque forming bacteria

  • Their abrasive action cuts down on food deposits on the teeth



  • We advise CET enzymatic toothpaste as the best for your pet!

  • Brushing your dogs teeth daily is the best way to maintain healthy teeth and gums and fresh breath! This is a paste for dogs and cats which has special enzymes in it which inhibit the bacteria responsible for plaque formation.

  • It is flavoured, so most animals, especially cats, will be happy to accept this method!



  • This is a diet for cats and dogs which is especially formulated to clean the tooth surface when the animal bites into it.

  • It is a dry diet, with a larger kibble size than normal dry diets.

  • It is meant as a complete food, so can be fed to any adult cat or dog to help ensure healthy teeth and gums.


  • If you have been told your cat or dog needs a dental, he or she will need to spend the day with us.

  • A general anaesthetic is always required, which carries a very small risk. This risk is far less than leaving the teeth neglected. The procedure usually takes about an hour.

  • We have a special machine called an ultrasonic scaler, which lifts and removes the layer of scale or tartar overlying the teeth without damaging the tooth or gum.

  • Once this is all removed, we can inspect each tooth in detail. Individual teeth may need to be extracted, usually due to loss of gum support or erosive lesions. In both these cases, the extracted tooth will be beyond saving, and usually a cause of discomfort until removed.

  • Many people fear the animal will have more trouble eating after this. The contrary is true in most cases. The aim is to remove useless, painful teeth, and to create a healthy, pain-free mouth again.

  • The final touch is to use our polisher to smooth down the microscopically pitted tooth surface. This is not just so the mouth feels nicer, as a smooth surface slows down the rate of plaque build up, and delays the time your pet will need another dental.

  • A long-acting antibiotic injection is given at the time of dentals, but some cases may need a course of tablets as well. Painkillers are always given if an extraction is needed.

  • After the dental, don't forget regular tooth care for the future. You may need to be very gentle for the first few days with the toothbrush, but after that, get stuck in! Our nurses will advise you when!


  • No food after 9.00pm the previous evening.

  • Allow access to water at all times.

  • Take your dog for a walk to allow it to do it's early morning duties! Allow cats free access to the litter tray until putting them in the basket for travel to the vets!

  • Bring to the surgery in the morning - We will give you a specific time when you book your dental.

  • Your pet will have the dental in the morning.

  • We can phone you after the dental treatment with an update if you wish or phone the surgery after 2pm to arrange home time!

  • One of our nurses or vets will explain about feeding and care for the following days for yor pet and explain the procedures we have carried out.

  • Although sleepy that evening, your pet will normally be active and eating well the following day.