We follow the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) guidelines for all our dental cleaning procedures. Proper surgical protocol and standards are very important to ensure the health and safety of your pet.
Anesthesia — Anesthesia-free dental care sounds like it would be a great option for your pet. You don’t need to put your pet under general anesthesia, and they come out with clean looking teeth. The truth is it’s anything but a good idea. It’s important for you as a pet owner to be well-educated on what involves an anesthesia-free dental cleaning and the risks of having this procedure performed on your pet.
Anesthesia-free dental cleanings provide no real benefits to your pet. It will not aid in the prevention of periodontal disease, will put your pet at risk for injury, and will not identify or treat any potential problem in your pet’s mouth such as a tooth root abscess or cavity. For our dental procedures, we use general anesthesia, take dental x-rays, do a thorough exam of your pet’s mouth, and scale the areas of the teeth including under the gum line to ensure we are providing the best care. This in turn ensures your pet will lead a long and happy life.
Pre-anesthetic exam — Whenever anesthesia is needed, special considerations are taken to help ensure the safety of your pet. We do a thorough exam to to make sure your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. Depending on your pet’s age and general physical condition, blood, urine, electrocardiograph, and x-ray tests may be advised to check for any dangerous heart, kidney, or other conditions. Though there is some risk associated with any medical procedure, modern anesthesia is usually safe, even for older pets.
Anesthesia monitoring — During anesthesia, the monitoring and recording of your pet’s vital signs (such as body temperature, heart rate, and respiration, as well as other important factors) is important. This helps ensure the safety of your pet while undergoing anesthesia.
Dental radiographs — Radiographs (x-rays) of the teeth are needed periodically in order to completely evaluate your pet’s oral health. X-rays aid the veterinarian greatly in detecting abnormalities that cannot be detected under examination alone. In some cases, x-rays can confirm the need for extraction of teeth that are loose or badly infected. DLVC has the technology to use digital radiology for your pet.
Scaling & Polishing — Veterinarians are advised to use similar instruments as human dentists to remove plaque and calculus from your pet’s teeth. To smooth out any scratches in the tooth enamel, polishing with a special paste is also recommended.