Dental cleanings in cats and dogs are very similar to what dentists do for people. The main difference is pets require general anesthesia for the procedure. Pets typically come in the morning of the procedure and are discharged in the afternoon. Pre-anesthetic bloodwork is recommended to ensure your pet is a good anesthetic candidate. An IV catheter is also recommended so we can have venous access in the event an emergency occurs. IV fluids are administered to support blood pressure because the blood pressure often gets low during anesthesia.
While the pet is asleep the teeth are scaled to remove the tartar. After scaling the teeth are polished to seal the outer tooth surface. If any teeth are loose or if there are any roots exposed extractions may be necessary. A synthetic bone material is often inserted where the tooth once was to prevent bone loss from the jaw.
Pain medications are given anytime extractions are required. Antibiotics are given if deemed necessary by the veterinarian. Some pets with severe dental disease will be put on antibiotics a few days before the dental cleaning as well.
Dental cleanings are recommended annually. Some pets require dental cleanings more frequently though. Remember, we brush our teeth twice a day, Imagine how bad our teeth would be if we never brushed our teeth; this is why dentals are so important in pets. If your pet will allow you to brush their teeth daily that is wonderful. It will allow you to go longer between dental cleanings. It won’t remove the tartar already on the teeth but it will slow down the build-up if tartar in the future. Remember to use dog or cat toothpaste because it is designed to be swallowed and human toothpaste is not,
If you have any questions about keeping our pet’s teeth healthy please don’t hesitate to ask us!