We are told to brush and floss every day and see the dentist twice a year. Your pet is no different. Current recommendations from the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) are to brush your pet’s teeth daily and to have a full oral exam and cleaning annually. Even with pet dental aids available and in use, plaque and tartar can build up creating an environment for bacteria and dental disease. These diseases can lead to pain and discomfort, loss of gum tissue and teeth, and left untreated this can ultimately lead to heart disease and kidney failure. A simple annual cleaning can dramatically reduce this scenario.
If we have not seen your pet in the last 6 months, you will need to make an appointment to rule out any underlying conditions that may make the procedure non-routine. At this appointment, you will be given antibiotics for your pets to take before and after the full oral exam and dental cleaning. Because pets need to be sedated for dental procedures, pre-operative bloodwork is recommended to minimize any risks, minimal as they are. Your pet’s teeth will be radiographed to find any hidden threats and cleaned with top of the line veterinary dental equipment and tools, removing tartar and plaque. Then the teeth are polished with a dental polishing cream. Antibiotics or pain medications may be prescribed afterwards depending on the severity of any dental disease. As with any procedure utilizing anesthetics, it is imperative that you strictly follow any instructions regarding preparation, such as no food or water from 9PM the night before until the dental cleaning. Pets scheduled for dental cleanings are usually able to be picked up by 3 PM the same day.