During your pet’s examination, you may have been told that your pet needs a dental cleaning. We recognize that safety and comfort are your main concerns when your pet is about to have a dental cleaning under anesthetic. We hope to alleviate some concerns, and answer some questions regarding the entire process.
Your pet’s safety is our top priority. We use only the safest anesthetic agents and equipment. Intravenous fluids and blood pressure monitors are used throughout the entire procedure to minimize anesthetic risks.
Prior to your pet’s dental cleaning
Due to the high number of bacteria in the mouth, it is recommended that all patients be given an antibiotic injection on the day of their dental cleaning. After the procedure is complete, your pet will be sent home with a course of antibiotics to continue with at home.
The antibiotics we offer come in pills, liquids, or chewable tablets ( yes- even for cats!)
On the day of the procedure
A complete examination of the teeth and gums is performed while your pet is anesthetized. A dental probe is used to measure gingival pockets. These pockets, as well as any fractures or other abnormalities are documented. At this time, the degree of tartar is documented. Once the charting is complete, an ultrasonic scaler is used to remove any tartar. A special hand tool called a curette is used to clean below the gum line, also known as subgingival scaling. This stage is critical to optimum oral health and preventing further periodontal disease. The teeth are then polished to remove any enamel irregularities and then flushed with a fluoride treatment.
Xrays may be needed to properly asses your pet’s teeth, as 60% of dental problems are “hidden”. Xrays give a clear picture of what is happening under the gum line, and help determine the most appropriate treatment.
In the event that your pet requires an extraction or a crown amputation**, a dental nerve block is given to reduce any discomfort.
The nerve blocks provide freezing for 4-6 hours and make recovery muchmore comfortable. Nerve blocks also reduce the amount of anesthetic your pet requires, therefore minimizing risk and speeding recovery. After the procedure is completed, your pet will also receive an injection to ensure adequate pain relief.
**A crown amputation is when only the portion of the tooth above the gumline is removed. This is often done in cats, when the root of the tooth is degenerating on its own.
When your pet goes home
After the dental procedure, your pet will still require some special care. The antibiotics that were started before the dental will be continued for 4-10 more days. the length of treatment required is dependent on what was observed during his or her complete oral examination. In the event that your pet required dental surgery ( extraction, crown amputation, biopsy,etc. ) pain medication will be prescribed to be administered at home.