Home care of the tooth is not perfect for people or pets, and periodically tartar must be professionally cleaned. The professional cleaning performed at the veterinarian’s office is similar to what a person receives at their dentist’s office; with the exception that general anesthesia is required for a proper and thorough job.
The steps carried out under general anesthesia include the following: gross tartar is removed with special instruments are used to scale below the gum line and remove debris that erodes the gingival and cause gingivitis, periodontal sockets are probed and measured, and the roots are scraped cleaned of tartar, and finally each tooth surface is polished to even out the defects left by the tartar and its removal. The entire mouth is then rinsed and disinfected, treated with fluoride sealer and or a plaque repellent. Professional notes are taken on a dental chart, noting abnormalities on each of the dog’s 42 teeth or the cat’s 30 teeth.
General anesthesia is required to ensure not only a proper and thorough job is done, but to ensure safety for your pet. An endotracheal tube is placed to protect your pet’s airway during the cleaning using water, air and cleansers to clean the teeth. Pets require the entire tooth and surface to be evaluated for cavities and even fractures. Broken teeth are common as we often provide chew toys and bones for enrichment and gum health. Intravenous catheters, EKG, and blood pressure monitoring are all used to enable us to best adjust anesthesia for any sensitivity or changes that may arise.