A routine dental assessment is an important part of your annual examination. If it is determined that your pet needs a preventive dental care, it will be recommended at that time. Your pet’s teeth will be scaled and polished to effectively remove tartar and plaque. If advanced care is necessary, such as an extraction or oral surgery, it will be performed at this time. All dental procedures are performed under anesthesia to ensure the comfort of your pet and allow your veterinarian to perform a comprehensive oral examination. Your pet will may be given a blood profile prior to delivery of anesthesia and will be monitored carefully throughout the procedure. Although not required, we strongly recommend the use of intravenous fluids during any surgical procedure.
Following your dental procedure, your veterinarian may provide an antibiotic to enhance the benefits of the extensive cleaning. And if extractions or oral surgery has been performed pain management medications will be prescribed.
How often will your pet need a dental cleaning? It all depends on the breed and your pet. Generally, after the age of 2 or 3 most dogs need preventive dental care. Frequency varies, but smaller breeds generally require the procedure more often.
The benefits of regular dental care far outweigh the risk of anesthesia and the costs. Dental disease can also affect other organs in the body: Bacteria in the mouth can get into the bloodstream and cause serious infections in the kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart.
A dental assessment should be performed at any time. If your pet has:
- Bad breath
- Yellow or brown buildup on teeth
- Loose teeth
- Pain when eating
- Swelling, bleeding or redness of gums
- Loss of interest in chew toys