After ensuring that your pet is free from abnormalities on physical examination we will perform a chemistry panel and a complete blood cell count to be sure that your pet’s kidneys, liver, and other organs are functioning properly and he/she does not have anemia or issues with his/her white blood cells. If any disease is present we want to catch it in the early stage in order to give your pet the best prognosis possible and to ensure that we address the problem before anesthetizing him.
The doctor customizes each pet’s anesthetic regimen with a combination of safe injectable medications and modern inhalant gas. We have developed our protocols based on recommendations of a board certified anesthesiologist.
One of our technicians monitors your pets blood pressure, respiration, heart rate, oxygenation, and temperature throughout the procedure. A written record is kept of these parameters so that the doctor and technicians may watch for negative trends.
All pets undergoing dental care receive fluid therapy by intravenous catheter during anesthesia to maintain vascular volume, hydration, and blood pressure.
Scaling and Polishing
- Supragingival Cleaning: The dental technician cleans the teeth about the gumline using a hand scaler and follows with an ultrasonic scaler. The areas between crowded teeth are flossed to remove debris that has collected.
- Subgingival Cleaning: The dental technician changes to a more delicate handpiece on the ultrasonic scaler to clean below the gumline of each tooth. This is the most important step because the subgingival plaque and calculus is what causes periodontal disease.
- Subgingival/Sulcal Lavage: We gently flush the gingival with water to prevent debris
We take radiographs (x-rays) of any area that looks abnormal in your pets mouth. Digital dental radiographs has allowed us to see abnormalities that we would not otherwise know about. Did you know that 80 percent of oral disease exists beneath the gumline? This really does mean that if we're not recommending and taking dental radiographs, we are missing disease! We will go over these radiographs with you upon discharge so that you can understand why we recommend certain treatments.
If a tooth is painful or otherwise irreversibly diseased, we will recommend extraction or other advanced treatment. There are many different ways to extract teeth, and your pet may go home with sutures in their mouth. These sutures dissolve and do not need to be removed. Pain control is an obvious necessity and we strive to provide the highest level of pain control possible. From nerve blocks to constant rate infusions of pain control medications, we can absolutely provide your pet with the comfort she deserves. If your pet has a tooth that might be saved through advanced endodontics, we work with a veterinary dentist to provide referral root canals and other advanced surgeries.
No animals deserves to have pain in their mouth. We love to make mouths feel better because we can improve quality of life! It's a regular occurrence for us to hear back from owners that they've noticed a positive change in behavior after we've taken care of painful teeth. Let us make your pet feel better!
The case of “Quinn”
“Quinn” (named changed to protect his privacy) was recently adopted from a shelter after being relinquished. He is a 4 year old Golden Retriever. “Quinn” presented for uncontrolled anxiety and he was unable to calm himself to sleep or rest. A previous veterinarian had prescribed Prozac for “Quinn” with no effect. Upon examination, “Quinn” had multiple worn and fractured teeth. He also had many teeth that were deformed from a birth defect. We immediately recommended anesthetizing “Quinn” to evaluate his mouth more fully and remove any teeth that may have been painful. It's been our experience that painful teeth can cause behavior changes in all veterinary patients. After 3 hours in surgery, and 19 teeth removed, “Quinn” went home to recover. 2 weeks later, his mom returned with him reporting that his behavior had completely resolved. He's still an active 4 year old dog, but he is able to rest and sleep. The anxious behavior was solved with eliminating the source of pain! We certainly would be anxious if we were unable to tell anyone where and why we hurt and it was an honor to be able to help “Quinn” feel like a new dog!