43rd Ave Animal Hospital recommends dentistry as a part of your pet's preventive care. It is similar to having human preventative dental cleanings except with pets, these need to be done under anesthesia.

So what is pet dentistry? 

With dogs and cats, it starts with their routine yearly exam where the veterinarian visually looks in the pet's mouth. The veterinarian is accessing the teeth, gums, and looking for anything abnormal or any tumors or masses. Once the oral exam is completed, the doctor makes their recommendation and grades the severity of the dental disease.

Why does my pet need to undergo anesthesia to have their teeth cleaned? 

Dogs and cats can't hold open their mouths for the amount of time it requires to take full mouth radiographs; just like a dental radiograph plate is fit into your mouth at your dentist, we do the same, and we can't tell our furry patients to not bit the plate or hold their mouth a certain way! True dental scaling, probing and deep cleanings take time, the pet's mouth can be sensitive and sore and without full anesthesia, tarter and plaque can not be fully removed without tooth damage. 

What is involved in having my pet's teeth cleaned?

We always recommend pre-anesthetic bloodwork to make sure there are not any underlying issues that we are not aware of before performing the procedure. This test can be sent to our reference lab prior to the day of surgery or in-house on the day of surgery. An IV catheter is placed and supportive fluids are run the length of the procedure to support the kidneys while they filter the anesthesia and sometimes beyond. In all our dental surgeries, full mouth radiographs are taken, including after-extraction radiographs to ensure all of the diseased tooth or root is extracted and will not cause future issues. We then clean and scale all sides of the teeth and under the gumline. Afterward, the teeth are polished to smooth out ridges in the teeth to prevent tartar and plaque from getting into the crevasses as quickly. The veterinarian then probes the gums looking for pockets where the tooth might be unstable. Each tooth is evaluated and cared for by the attending doctor, with a treatment plan developed based on the patient's needs. If extractions are needed, we send home information on after-procedure home care.  Complimentary nail trimming is completed during the procedure as well.

Patient safety and comfort are our main priorities. 43rd Avenue Animal Hospital’s experienced veterinary anesthesiologists provide skilled pain management during and after all surgical procedures, ensuring your pet recovers quickly and is free of pain.

Below are pictures of a before and after stage 4 dental. Imagine how much better this boy feels! Under that thick layer of dental tarter, he had severe gingivitis, fractures, loose teeth, and infection.