Should I brush my pet’s teeth?
Yes, just like in humans, pet’s need daily tooth brushing to remove plaque from their teeth. Plaque is the soft, ivory colored, sticky substance that is formed by bacteria in the mouth. Plaque forms into calculus or tartar in as little as 1 to 2 days. Calculus is the hard, yellow-brown deposits on the teeth. Once calculus has formed on your pet’s teeth, a professional dental cleaning is needed to remove the substance.
Brushing your pet’s teeth is the most effective way to keep their teeth and gums healthy. This is a slow process that takes patience and persistence from both owners and pets. Our staff will be happy to have a one-on-one demonstration with you to assist with your success in your pet’s at home dental care.
How often should I have my pets teeth cleaned?
In most cases, we recommend annual dental cleanings. There are some special situations in which a patient needs their teeth to be cleaned more frequently. Your veterinarian and veterinary dental specialist will work closely with you to determine a treatment plan tailored specifically for your pet.
Does my pet need a veterinary dentist?
Most routine procedures such as dental examinations, cleanings and extractions can be completed by a veterinarian. There are many cases when a general practitioner veterinarian refers advanced dental procedures to a board-certified veterinary dental specialist. A veterinary dentist has completed several years of additional training to diagnose and treat complex dental cases. In these situations, the referring veterinarian works closely with the veterinary dental specialist to provide the best care for the patient.
There are currently less than 100 board-certified veterinary dentists in the US.
What should I expect during the dental consultation?
A dental consultation is the initial step in addressing your pet’s dental concerns. During the dental evaluation the doctor will discuss the options for treatment and provide a detailed estimate for the recommended procedures.
A thorough dental examination is completed while your pet is under anesthesia utilizing periodontal probing, dental charting & dental x-rays.
What will my pet experience when she comes in for dental surgery?
All surgery patients are admitted in the morning for their dental procedure. Please allow a few minutes to complete paperwork during the admitting process. Our patients spend an entire day with us to complete the procedure, recover from anesthesia and post operative monitoring and care. They are discharged in the afternoon. During the discharge appointment the veterinarian and technician will discuss the post-operative care instructions and schedule a recheck appointment if needed.
We require that all of our patients have an intravenous catheter placed and receive fluids during the anesthetic procedure. Our anesthetized patients are closely supervised by our veterinary technicians and assistants. We measure and record the patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, ventilation rate, carbon dioxide output, blood oxygen saturation, and body temperature.
Pain management is another critical aspect of the overall care of our patients. Pre-emptive pain treatment is started prior to anesthesia. Once the patient is anesthetized, dental nerve blocks are administered. These blocks provide two benefits by decreasing discomfort during the anesthetic period and the effects of the nerve block last up to 6-8 hours to provide comfort in the post-operative period.
Does my pet need to go under anesthesia to have his teeth cleaned?
Yes, general anesthesia is required for all dental procedures. With the use of general anesthesia, we keep our patients safe and comfortable during the procedure.
Our anesthetized patients are closely monitored by our veterinary technicians and assistants. We measure and record the patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, ventilation rate, carbon dioxide output, blood oxygen saturation, and body temperature.
Why is recent blood work important?
This is a pre-anesthetic precaution utilized to screen for organ dysfunction and underlying disease. These underlying diseases may not present themselves on physical examinations.
We prefer that all patients scheduled for an anesthetic procedure have blood work completed before surgery by their regular veterinarian. If blood results are not current or if a blood value is in question, we will complete a pre-anesthetic blood panel the morning of surgery. Our pre-anesthetic blood panels evaluate liver & kidney function, tests blood sugar level and checks for anemia and dehydration.
How much will this cost?
There are many variables involved in the cost of an advanced dental procedure. After the dental consultation, the doctor will provide a detailed estimate outlining the fees for the recommended dental procedure. Our anesthetic procedures always include IV catheter, IV fluids and Isoflurane anesthesia. If your pet has not had recent blood work, we will complete an in-house panel for an additional fee.