Dental Cleanings: What’s Involved
Before: Dental cleanings in pets are performed under general anesthesia by your veterinary team. This means that your pet will be asleep during the dental procedure. Your pet will be examined by your veterinarian prior to anesthesia to ensure they are healthy. Preoperative blood work will be examined to ensure your pet’s internal organs are healthy and able to undergo anesthesia. If your pet has an underlying disease, special precautions will be taken to minimize risks and ensure your pet is able to undergo the procedure.
During: After the pet is anesthetized, a thorough oral examination is performed – the entire oral cavity including the tongue, cheeks, palate, and gums are evaluated. Each tooth is probed and examined to ensure it is healthy. If any diseased teeth are found, they may need to be removed, such as in a dental extraction, or may require additional specialist care. Often, dental radiographs are performed to assess dexterity and health of the teeth from the inside out. Your veterinarian will perform the dental examination and will contact you if any teeth appear to be abnormal, diseased or broken to make a treatment plan.
After: After the examination, the teeth are cleaned and polished using specialized equipment to remove debris and calculus. If your pet has teeth extracted, they will receive pain medication. Your pet may have dissolvable stitches in their mouth. A recheck will be performed in 2 weeks to assess healing of the oral cavity after extraction. Your pet will receive pain medication and additional medication as prescribed by your veterinarian.
While there are always risks with undergoing general anesthesia, Weddington Animal Hospital attempts to minimize these risks as much as possible through intensive monitoring with specialized equipment. Your pet’s heart rate, breathing, pulse, ECG, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and temperature will be monitored using special equipment throughout the procedure. A trained veterinary staff member will be with your pet at all times from the beginning of the procedure until they are recovered. Your veterinarian will call you when your pet is awake and discuss any questions or concerns you may have. Generally, patients will go home the same day as the procedure. Your veterinarian may recommend a soft food diet for several days while your pet recovers from their dental procedure.