Professional Dental Care for Pet Health
A professional dental cleaning may be a new experience for you and your pet. Just like with any dental visit, you may be anxious or have questions. At every wellness visit, we are happy to discuss your pet’s need for dental care and give you instruction and support in home care techniques.
Our experienced dental professionals offer the most advanced techniques and current training, giving your pet excellence in both comfort and care. Here’s what you can expect the day of your pet’s appointment for a professional dental cleaning:
Arrival—Your pet arrives at the hospital early on the morning of the procedure. We perform blood work to ensure the liver and kidneys are healthy and able to metabolize the anesthesia; those with a greater risk, such as senior pets, are given an I.V. catheter as an added safety measure.
Anesthesia—Your pet is given a sedative injection to calm him or her, followed by anesthesia. For your pet’s safety, our anesthetic is completely reversible. If your pet develops a decrease in heart rate or blood pressure, we are able to immediately withdraw the medication to avert an anesthetic emergency.
Monitoring—During anesthesia, your pet is provided with continuous monitoring including EKG, blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and respiration.
Cleaning—Our trained dental technician examines and cleans your pet’s oral cavity, measuring for any pockets, furcations, or recessed areas and marks them for review by the veterinarian. We may also take digital radiographs at this time.
Examination—Your veterinarian examines the oral cavity, discusses the findings encountered by the dental technician, and may perform periodontal therapy.
Recovery—When the dental procedure is complete, your pet is moved to a quiet recovery area for monitoring until fully recovered from anesthesia. We continue this monitoring during the day and, in most cases, you can pick your pet up in the evening.
Discharge—When the veterinarian discharges your pet, we will discuss the findings with you and talk about things you can do to prevent further periodontal disease.
Once your pet has had a professional cleaning, it is important to provide home care to maintain a healthy mouth. We recommend brushing teeth at least twice a week for the best defense against periodontal disease, leaving your pet with fresh breath and a healthier smile. To begin your home dental care program, try these easy steps:
- Find a quiet, convenient time when you and your pet are both relaxed.
- Acquaint your pet with the process. Don’t even use the toothbrush the first few sessions. Gently stroke the outside of the cheek, raise the lips, and touch the gums. Once your pet is comfortable, dab some toothpaste on your finger and allow your pet to taste it.
- Introduce the brush. Place a small amount of toothpaste on the brush. In a slow circular motion, start by brushing one to two teeth and the adjoining gum line.
- Over the next few sessions, gradually increase the number of teeth brushed. It is important to eventually brush the rear teeth where plaque and tartar mostly build up. Work up to about 30 seconds per side.
Proceed slowly and gently, stop each session while it is still fun, and don’t forget to praise your pet afterwards. Need more confidence? Watch this slideshow demonstrating how to brush your dog’s teeth from the WebMD Pet Center.
There are a variety of products available to assist pet owners in home dental care that are designed to clean teeth and stimulate gums. Some products we may recommend to support your home dental care regime:
|Enzadent /C.E.T. Rinse||This product is used daily to break up and dissolve plaque.|
|Greenies||These green chew treats are given multiple times throughout the week to help mechanically break down plaque.|
|C.E.T. Chews||Similar to rawhide but softer, these chews contain an antibacterial to help break down plaque. They are given multiple times throughout the week.|
|Special Diets: Science Diet TD||Food formulated as larger kibble mechanically reduces the amount of plaque.|
|Oxyfresh||This tasteless and odorless liquid is added to drinking water to decrease bacteria in your pet’s saliva.|
Madison Veterinary Hospital offers much more than pet dental exams and professional cleanings. We also offer periodontal treatment, digital dental radiographs, extractions with advanced pain management, and vital pulp therapy.
Visit our Dentistry page to lean more!