Pet Dental Cleaning: How do “dentals” work?
(Shared by Vancouver WA Veterinarians at Claus Paws Animal Hospital)
First, Dr. Claus or Dr. Evert will examine your pet’s mouth as part of a physical exam. She will show you if there are any areas of concern, and make a plan for care. If a cleaning is recommended, remember that anesthesia is necessary. For that reason, your pet may need bloodwork to be done before the dental to make sure s/he isn’t at extra risk for anesthesia.
On the day of the dental, you will need to check your pet in between 7:30 and 8:30am. Please allow a little time for paperwork, just as if you were having an “outpatient” procedure with your own doctor. Once your pet is anesthetized, we make sure she/he stays warm by using a warming pad and blankets. We use a pulse oximeter to monitor heart rate and oxygenation during the procedure, and also monitor temperature.
The actual dental cleaning is remarkably similar to your own. The technician cleans the teeth by hand and also with an ultrasonic scaler to remove tartar buildup, and then problem teeth are evaluated by the doctor. If extractions are needed, your pet will get an injection of pain meds before the extraction. Finally, once the teeth are cleaned, they are rinsed and polished to smooth the enamel (we usually use mint flavor polish, since they are asleep and can’t tell us they’d rather have beef or salmon flavor!). The technician will stay with your pet and give lots of TLC as they wake enough to safely move to a kennel.
With all the safeguards and skill involved in anesthetic procedures, hopefully you can see that providing quality care is very important to us. If you think your pet might need a dental cleaning, call Claus Paws Animal Hospital and make an appointment to get those teeth checked out soon!