Pet Dental Care in West Des Moines & Norwalk, IA

Good dental health isn’t just important for humans to maintain. Our feline and canine companions are susceptible to many of the same dental ailments as we are. Maintaining good oral health not only helps your pet’s overall health, it can help extend their life. Our veterinary offices in West Des Moines and Norwalk, IA provide a range of dental care services for cats and dogs, in addition to general veterinary services. It has been estimated that at least 70% of dogs and cats five years and older have dental issues. Though these problems have been proven to be painful, our pets hide this pain and these symptoms.

Dr. Mathis is a leader in veterinary dentistry in Des Moines, IA. She is able to save teeth through a variety of methods including bone grafts, root canals, crowns, tooth restorations, non-invasive fracture repair, and orthodontics, when indicated. She spends 20% of her year in specialty practices across the country working with feline and canine patients, helping to improve their dental health and deal with issues such as heart and kidney issues.

Our veterinary dental services include:


Free Dental Exams

Our veterinary practice provides free dental exams at every check up. This helps reveal any diseases in the mouth or dental problems. It also helps us determine if your dog or cat is in need of a professional dental cleaning. During the dental exam, we will check your pet’s gum and tooth health, and check for any visible signs of infection or periodontal (gum) disease. For more complete testing of the other 65% of the mouth, xrays and/or special bacteria tests gives shows what’s really hiding.

Dental Cleanings

Professional dental cleanings help your pet maintain their best health. Using safe and modern ultrasonic scaling, we are able to clean each tooth thoroughly, both above and below the gum line. This helps prevent periodontal disease, breaks down calculus and leaves your pet’s mouth healthy and clean. Once the cleaning is complete, we perform a polishing treatment to create a lustrous, smoother surface on each tooth. This surface is more resistant to plaque build up. In addition, fluoride treatments can decrease tooth sensitivity and specific do-able home care will slow recurrence.

Dental Restorations

If your dog or cat has severe damage to a tooth or teeth, a dental restoration may be necessary to restore form and function to their mouth. A dental restoration helps preserve and protect the structure of a tooth, while sealing out bacteria and restoring strength to the chipped tooth. Fractures can be easily repaired using dental resins.


A broken tooth is painful and needs a root canal (endodontic procedure) or extraction to stop the pain. A root canal saves the tooth function and structure while removing the disease and pain. There are some teeth that are not appropriate to save. For those, extractions are performed with special tools without leaving nerve roots behind.


Unlike conventional orthodontics, veterinary orthodontics is not used to correct cosmetic issues in pets. Instead, orthodontics is used to correct specific conditions that may be causing your pet pain or discomfort. For example, if your pet’s canine teeth are hitting the roof of your pet’s mouth (common painful problem for which pets hide their pain), it is damaging to both the tooth and the roof of their mouth. Using orthodontic devices to move the teeth, we can correct alignment issues and prevent further damage or pain.

Oral Fracture Repair

Lower and upper jaw fractures are fairly common in both dogs and cats. While dental disease such as gum disease can play a role, trauma is most commonly involved.

There are multiple treatment options for jaw fractures. Many fractures are treated with an intra-oral splint fabricated with wire and acrylic. Instead of placing wires and screws into the jaw bone, the wire is placed around the tooth and then reinforced with the addition of a cold-cure acrylic material. This creates a splint that is light and strong, and allows for your pet to eat almost normally during the healing process. It also helps the jaw bones maintain a natural position during healing. In many cases, the splint can be removed after a few weeks.

Veterinary Dental Services in West Des Moines & Norwalk, IA

Our veterinarians are dedicated to providing the best veterinary dental care in West Des Moines and Norwalk, IA. In addition to our general veterinary services, we are proud to help extend your pet’s life through comprehensive dental treatments and services.

For more information about our veterinary practice, our vet dental services offered, or for general questions, please contact one of our offices today or email us at Doctors, please use this REFERRAL FORM to ensure we provide the most comprehensive care possible to your patient.

Click here for a more comprehensive list of Dental services and CE for veterinarians.