What is involved with a professional teeth cleaning visit for my pet?
When rough tartar accumulates on tooth surfaces and touches the gum line it’s time for a professional oral assessment, treatment, and prevention visit. This visit will include a thorough dental examination, teeth cleaning, and polishing to remove the tartar and invisible plaque from all of the tooth surfaces.
We perform pre-anesthetic blood tests to ensure that kidney and liver function are satisfactory for anesthesia, as well as an evaluation of the heart and abdomen if needed.
What happens during the exam
For proper dental care your pet will be placed under general anesthesia. Once your pet is under general anesthesia, we will thoroughly examine the mouth, noting abnormalities in the medical record. A dental probe will be used to evaluate gum bleeding and periodontal pockets where food can accumulate if not cared for.
When periodontal disease is advanced, it may not be possible to save the badly affected teeth, which may need to be extracted.
How are my pet's teeth cleaned?
After examination, tooth scaling will be performed, using ultrasonic scalers to remove tartar above and below the gum line. The tartar below the gum line causes the most significant periodontal disease, so it is important that it be thoroughly removed.
After scaling, the teeth are polished to remove microscopic scratches and decrease the rate of subsequent plaque build-up. Special applications such as fluoride, antibiotic preparations and cleaning compounds may be used to decrease tooth sensitivity, strengthen enamel, treat bacterial infection and reduce future plaque accumulation.
The procedures your pet may require will be discussed with you. Since it can be difficult to predict the extent of dental disease in advance of the procedure, it is imperative that we be able to reach you during the procedure to discuss any additional treatment that may be necessary.
It is important to have his teeth x-rayed
Pets cannot simply tell us when their teeth are diseased, and some pets never show that they’re in pain. In many cases, x-rays are the only way for us to know your pet has a dental problem that can be treated, relieving discomfort.
Cleaning a pet’s teeth without x-rays often results in missed opportunities to improve the quality of life and health of your pet.
This client information sheet is based on material written by: Jan Bellows, DVM, Dipl. AVDC, ABVP
© Copyright 2013 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.