Unlike when you go to the dentist, to get the best evaluation and dental care, our pets need to be anesthetized during their dental procedure. Anesthesia is necessary because it allows your pet to be still so your vet can conduct a thorough examination of the whole oral cavity (including below the gumline), and fully and safely clean your pet’s teeth.
This also ensures a safe and comfortable experience for your pet by reducing their level of anxiety, stress, and pain. In addition, it protects their airway from any water or debris caused by scaling away the dental plaque and tartar that finds its way down into your pet’s lungs during the procedure.
Expect to drop your pet off at the veterinary clinic early to get them settled in and have their pre-anesthesia exam.
During the dental procedure, our team will remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and polish them. They will also use a dental probe (like the one your dentist uses on you) to look for pockets of infection around the tooth roots and in the gum. This lets them check the health and stability of the dental ligaments and bony structures beneath the gumline.
If damaged teeth are found, extractions (removing the teeth) may be necessary.
After your dog or cat’s dental procedure, our team will review everything that was performed during the dental procedure with you. If there is an infection or if your pet has an underlying condition that makes them more susceptible to infection, your vet may give or prescribe an antibiotic. Pain medication may also be provided as there can be some level of inflammation and discomfort following a dental procedure.
You may be sent home with:
We recommend feeding just soft food for several days after the procedure if there were extractions, to allow the extraction sites to heal as best as possible. If extractions happen — or even if not — there may be a recheck appointment needed a week or so later to ensure that all is healing and progressing as best as possible.
Once your pet is discharged and you take them home, you may notice some grogginess, drooling, or drowsiness for several hours. They’re typically almost back to normal that evening and should definitely be back to their normal self (often even better, as the discomfort their dental and periodontal disease had been causing them is now gone!) by the next day. If at any point you’re concerned, don’t hesitate to call us for advice.
An anesthetized dental procedure is just one step to ensuring a healthy mouth for your pet.