The following article is courtesy of our partner, Banfield Pet Hospital. Used with permission.
Just as important as providing your pet with food, water and regular physical exams is an annual, professional dental cleaning. Even with good regular at-home care, plaque and tartar build up, making professional cleanings essential. Untreated dental disease can cause significant discomfort and pain as well as permanent loss of teeth and gum tissue. Remember, your pet cannot tell you when he or she is in pain. Pets rely on their owners to take care of them and recognize when something is out of the ordinary.
Most veterinarians recommend dental cleanings once per year, however, some breeds may require more frequent professional cleanings. When you bring your pet for a dental cleaning, the below is what you can expect.
- Your veterinarian will run pre-operative bloodwork to make sure your pet is healthy enough to undergo the anesthesia necessary for the procedure. While modern anesthesia is considered very safe, this is a precautionary measure to minimize any risks.
- Your veterinarian might take dental radiographs (X-rays) to provide a better evaluation of the health of your pet’s teeth and jaw bone.
- During the cleaning, the veterinary team will monitor your pet’s vital signs to ensure that they are normal. These vitals include respiration rate, heart rate, blood oxygen levels and body temperature.
- Your pet’s teeth will be cleaned and polished with professional equipment that smoothes the tooth surface, removes tartar and plaque and polishes the teeth.
- Antibitoics and/or pain medications may be prescribed depending on the extent of disease at the time of cleaning.
Once the dental cleaning is complete, your pet will be carefully brought out of anesthesia. Your veterinarian will ensure that your pet has recovered properly before releasing him or her to go home. Follow all home care instructions and be sure to check with your veterinarian immediately if you have any concerns.