Professional Dental Cleaning!
A professional dental cleaning is more than removing surface tartar! Every surface of every tooth including under the gum line is cleaned with a piezo ultrasonic scaler and then polished and treated with fluoride. This allows us to treat gingivitis at the source and halt the progression of periodontal disease. By maintaining proper oral hygiene for your pet you are removing the potential sources of infection in the mouth that can spread to other organs and prevent your pet from experiencing tooth pain and tooth loss. Having a professional dental cleaning regularly prolongs the life of your pet! Did you know, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 85% of pets have dental disease by the age of 3 and most pets require a professional dental cleaning at least once a year by the age of 5?
Steps in our Professional Dental Cleaning:
Comprehensive Physical exam
Prior to any anesthetic and dental procedures your pet is thoroughly evaluated and his/her medical record is reviewed to ensure any potential risk and/or complications are addressed prior to undergoing anesthesia and dental cleaning.
The purpose of pre-anesthetic blood work is to ensure that your pet can properly process and eliminate anesthetic agents. All pets are required to have pre-anesthetic blood testing performed prior to any anesthetic procedure. These tests help evaluate your pet’s organ functions and ensure he/she is able to undergo anesthesia safely. We tailor each patient’s anesthetic protocol to meet his/her individual needs. The tests can reveal hidden health conditions that could put your pet at risk. Learn more about pre-anesthetic blood work and anesthesia.
IV Catheter Placement
An IV catheter is placed for administration intravenous fluids, which are administered during and following the surgery until the patient has fully recovered from the sedation and anesthesia. The IV catheter is also used to administer short acting anesthetics that allow for the placement of an endotracheal tube (which is known as intubation) in our patients airway. The endotracheal tube ensures the patient has a patent airway and protects the respiratory system (the lungs) from any fluids. The endotracheal tube is then connected to an inhalant anesthetic, isoflurane or sevoflurane gas, which is designed to maintain a safe plane of anesthesia.
Anesthesia and Anesthetic Monitoring
Every patient is closely monitored at ALL times while under anesthesia by a highly trained technician. We monitor heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, CO2 levels with capnography,
continuous ECG, body temperature and depth of anesthesia the entire time your pet is under anesthesia and during recovery.
Some clients ask us about performing dental procedures without anesthesia. Unfortunately, we are not able to do a complete and thorough oral and dental examination and cleaning without
anesthesia. Your pet must be anesthetized to perform a comprehensive, safe, and comfortable dental procedure.
When we go to the dentist, radiographs are taken in order to evaluate the health of each tooth including under the gum line and the root. We do the same for your pets in order to make accurate assessments about the health of each individual tooth as well as the root structure. This knowledge helps us make an accurate determination of the correct way to treat each tooth.
Scaling and Polishing
Professional dental cleaning removes plaque and tartar that cause periodontal disease. The plaque and tartar are removed by our piezo ultrasonic scaler on the tooth surface and under the gum line. Following scaling, the teeth are polished to remove residual plaque and to smooth the tooth surface (which delays plaque and tartar build up.) The mouth is rinsed to remove debris prior to a final inspection. Each tooth and the gingiva surrounding it are examined for any defects.
Situations where extractions of teeth are appropriate include:
- Periodontal disease has left the teeth unstable (due to the loss of bone and other supportive structures) these teeth are often already loose.
- Fractured or abscessed teeth where an endodontic procedure or root canal is not appropriate or cost and follow-up care are concerns.
- When removing a less important tooth will make a more important tooth more stable and prevent worsening periodontal disease associated with these teeth, such as deciduous (baby) teeth that did not fall out appropriately.
A fluoride treatment is applied to each tooth after the scaling and polishing and restorative work is completed to protect the tooth from future plaque and decay.
Subgingival therapy can include antibiotic gels, root planning, and subgingival curettage to treat problem teeth and try and prevent from having to perform extractions.
Products such as doxirobe gel help in the treatment of periodontal disease.
DOXIROBE® GEL (doxycycline hyclate): A single treatment of DOXIROBE Gel can reduce periodontal pocket depth, increase reattachment and reduce gingival inflammation.
After we perform the scaling, polishing and any extractions (if needed) and fluoride treatment we apply a sealant to each tooth. OraVet is the first plaque prevention system. It significantly reduces plaque and tartar formation by creating an invisible barrier that helps prevent bacteria from attaching to your pet’s teeth.(2) Oral healthcare begins in the clinic when we apply the OraVet Barrier Sealant after your pet’s dental cleaning. Oral healthcare is continued at home when you apply the OraVet Plaque Prevention Gel weekly to your pet’s teeth and gum line and perform daily teeth brushing. This system helps reduce plaque and calculus formation on your pet’s teeth between dental cleanings.
Following surgery, your pet is moved from the surgical ward to recovery where our staff continues to monitor their vital signs. Once awake, your pet’s temperature, pulse and respiration rates are again measured to insure recovery is proceeding as anticipated. Your doctor or surgical technician will contact you at this time with a surgical progress report and update you on how your pet is doing following anesthesia. Most patients are released to go home on the same day. The doctor will evaluate your pet’s progress and determine when it is safe to release your pet for home recuperation. When we release your pet to recuperate at home, pain medication is provided if needed to help ease discomfort. At the time your pet is released, you will receive instructions for home dental care, details on any medications and what to watch for in your pet’s continuing recovery.
At home dental care
We recommend only using products that are approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). The VOHC recognizes products that meet pre-set standards of reducing plaque and calculus (tartar) build up in dogs and cats. Products are accepted after close review of data received from trials conducted according to VOHC protocols. Using products regularly that carry the VOHC Seal will help reduce the severity of periodontal disease in your pets. Home oral hygiene can make a tremendous difference in your dog’s dental health and overall health. There are several home care oral hygiene options from which to choose from, Keep in mind anything you can do to help prevent plaque and tartar accumulation will benefit you pet in the long run.
- BRUSHING and TOOTH-PASTES: Daily brushing your dog’s teeth is the single most effective means to maintain oral health between professional dental examinations.https://www.virbacpets.com/dog/category/dog-toothbrushes-and-toothpastes
- DIETS: Hills t/d is clinically proven nutrition to reduce plaque, stain, & tartar buildup by mechanical action. https://www.hillspet.com/products/pd-canine-td-canine-dental-health-dry.html
- C.E.T HEXTRA PREMIUM CHEWS: Are made using the unique and proprietary binding-releasing system to ensure maximal release of chlorhexidine, which helps reduce plaque and calculus. The chlorhexidine is released into the oral cavity during chewing and may be released for up to 24 hours, providing sustained antimicrobial action.3,4 https://www.virbacpets.com/dog/category/dog-chews
- WATER ADDITIVES: C.E.T Aquadent is for use as a daily drinking water additive for dogs and cats to help fight plaque and freshen breath. https://www.virbacpets.com/dog/category/dog-rinses-and-water-additives
- C.E.T ORAL HYGIENE RINSE: Contains chlorhexidine gluconate, cetylpyridinium chloride, and zinc as active ingredients in an oral rinse formulation for use in cats and dogs to help fight plaque, maintain oral health, and freshen breath fast. https://www.virbacpets.com/dog/category/dog-rinses-and-water-additives
References and Resources:
DOXIROBE® GEL (doxycycline hyclate)
Zetner K, Rothmuller G. The treatment of periodontal pockets with the new perioceutic DOXIROBE. Vet Ther. 2002;3(4):441-452.
Wendy C. Brooks, DVM, DipABVP. Dental Home Care 1/1/2001, 03/02/2012
Pader, Morton. Oral Hygiene Products and Practice. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc., 1988.
Bonesvoll, P “Oral Pharmacology of Chlorhexidine.” Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 4.5(1977): 49-65.