We all know how important good dental care is for ourselves and our kids. We brush our teeth twice a day, floss, and see our dentist for professional cleanings twice a year. But did you know that the same kind of care for our pets is just as important?
It’s true! Besides controlling bad doggy (or kitty!) breath, regular dental care for pets can prevent a whole host of problems, including tooth loss, bacterial infection in the mouth, and even systemic diseases of the heart, liver, and kidneys.
And with most pets experiencing dental disease by the time they are 3 years of age, it’s no surprise that BEEVET Animal Hospital recommends daily tooth brushing, regular pet dental exams, and regular professional dental cleanings to help keep our pets at their best.
Some owners are nervous when we recommend pet dental cleaning, so we thought this a good opportunity to delve into what happens during this very important procedure.
First Things First
Because we need your pet’s full cooperation to examine every tooth and perform the cleaning, general anesthesia is needed. Luckily, anesthesia is safer than ever thanks to standardized veterinary anesthetic protocols, safer anesthetics, and our talented team of attentive technicians. We take your pet’s safety and comfort extremely seriously.
Although anesthesia is relatively safe, we don’t take any chances. This is why a full physical examination and diagnostic testing is required before anesthesia, so that we can make sure your pet is healthy enough for the procedure.
What Happens During A Pet Dental Cleaning
Once your pet is anesthetized, the dental cleaning consists of:
- Removal of visible plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums
- Elimination of any plaque and tartar under the gum line
- Probing of any spaces (deep pockets) to check for infection
- Polishing of any rough tooth surfaces that may attract bacteria
- Digital dental radiographs to check for any problems below the gumline
- Application of fluoride or a dental sealer
- Removal or repair of any fractured or infected teeth
- Dental charting to note any problem areas to watch
- Inspection of the lips, tongue, and entire mouth for growths, lesions, or other problems
A professional pet dental cleaning under anesthesia not only removes the plaque and tartar we can see, but the bacteria under the gum line as well. This eliminates potential sources of infection in the mouth and other organs and protects your pet from pain and tooth loss.
Next Steps to Dental Health
Once the cleaning process is complete, we’ll make sure your pet is safe and comfortable as they recover from anesthesia. They can generally go home with you the same evening, and we’ll make sure you have written instructions on how to care for them at home.
Next, the real fun begins! Good dental health is a team approach, and with a clean slate, you’ll be ready to start a daily tooth brushing routine. It’s really not as hard as you think, and you’ll learn how with one of our skilled technicians.
We may also recommend dental chews, a mouth rinse, and/or a dental diet to help prevent plaque in your pet’s mouth. This will depend on the level of dental disease we’ve observed and your pet’s individual health.
By working together, we can give your pet better oral health and a longer and happier life. Contact us to schedule your pet’s dental cleaning today and we’ll get started!