If your pet is over the age of three, it’s likely they will have some form of dental disease. Periodontal disease is far too common among cats and dogs, and generally due to the fact that most pet owners pay very little attention to dental care. If your veterinarian suggested pet dental cleaning under anesthesia, what does this mean, you may wonder. Why do pets even need this cleaning?
The team at Westarbor Animal Hospital is here to explain that professional pet dental cleaning is more than just cleaning as we know from our own dental visits. , Here is what is included in a cleaning and why your pet will benefit greatly from it.
The Basics of Pet Dental Cleaning
Virtually everyone, including your four-legged companion, abhors anything related to dentistry. The idea of your pet permitting us to examine and clean their teeth is a long shot, as we envision them squirming and trying to get away the entire time.
Dental cleaning, also called prophylaxis, is the process of removing plaque and tartar from tooth surfaces above and below the gumline in your pet’s mouth. Parts of it are similar to what you might expect at your own dental cleaning, but your pet will require anesthesia for us to perform a complete cleaning and exam.
The process is simple, yet thorough. We first ensure that anesthesia will be safe for your pet by completing blood work. Next, we schedule a cleaning. There are steps that we take to offer the most effective and safe cleaning and examination for your fur friend.
- When you come in the morning of the cleaning, your veterinarian and a skilled technician will meet with you and discuss the procedure. We will answer all of your questions so that you are comfortable with the process. We also recommend what to do at home to care for your pet’s teeth.
- From there, the technician will evaluate the anesthesia and your pet’s pre-anesthetic workup. The veterinarian will perform a thorough examination, including checking pulse, temperature, etc. to make sure your pet is in good health.
- When your pet is cleared for the procedure, your licensed technician will begin administering anesthesia and start the process of removing plaque from the teeth.
- During the cleaning, the technician will look for all indicators of dental disease, such as loose or missing teeth, cavities, bleeding, and inflammation.
- We remove plaque and tartar using an ultrasonic scaler, including above and below the gum line, which is where most dental disease lurks.
- After we remove the plaque, we will polish your pet’s teeth and treat them with fluoride. The act of polishing is necessary to smooth out the teeth to prevent pockets where bacteria, plaque, and tartar can build up. Lastly, we apply a protective sealant over the polished teeth.
- Your pet may also receive digital dental X-rays, so that we can assess any issues below the gum line, including the jaws.
After the process is complete, we closely monitor your pet in our surgical suite as they come out of anesthesia. The technician and veterinarian will review the dental findings during the examination, which we will later discuss with you.
The Benefits of Pet Dental Cleaning Under Anesthesia
There are several benefits to using this procedure to clean and protect your pet’s teeth. While we understand that anesthesia can be unsettling for pet owners, the advantages far outweigh the minimal risks. Anesthesia-based pet dental cleaning gives pet owners the following advantages:
- Thorough removal of plaque and tartar (non-anesthesia cleanings rarely achieve this level of efficacy) which is good for your pet’s long term health
- A complete look at the health of the teeth, gums, and mouth both visually and with digital X-ray to see below the gum line and view the structures of the whole mouth
- Using anesthesia for the procedure is less stressful and more comfortable for your pet
- It is cost-effective in the long run, preventing periodontal disease and tooth loss
- It helps prevent other systemic conditions related to poor oral health, such as heart disease and liver disease
We at Westarbor are committed to the good health of your best friend. If you would like more information about cat or dog teeth cleaning, or to schedule an appointment, please phone us.