My pet has a dental cleaning procedure scheduled at Windmill Animal Hospital. What should I expect?
Dental cleaning patients are normally dropped off between at 8 am. Our technicians acquire blood samples for any preanesthetic lab work needed, and check your pet's temperature, pulse, and respiration.
After a nap and a walk (or a visit to the litter box in case of cats), your pet will receive an injection of a very mild sedative/pain preventer approximately 10 minutes before anesthesia begins. After installing the intravenous catheter, your pet will be gently anesthetized by having it breath sterile oxygen and anesthetic vapors through a mask. Once your pet is under anesthesia, an endotracheal tube will be placed, to aid maintenance of the anesthesia, protection of the pet's airway from the dental cleaning process, and facilitate patient breathing. Your pet is then placed on a warm-water recirculating blanket, and covered in thick towels, to protect its body temperature. Additionally, anesthetic monitors are applied to track your pet's heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen saturation, and rectal temperature.
Once your pet is ready for the dental procedure, your pet's veterinarian will thoroughly examine the teeth and gums, including the gum pockets, looking for any possible problems. The veterinary technician caring for your pet then gently cleans your pet's teeth with an ultrasonic scaler, and the roots planed to remove all subgingival tartar. Next, your pet's teeth are thoroughly polished and rinsed. The final step is drying your pet's teeth and applying a fluoride treatment.
In case of oral cavity problems (loose teeth, deep pockets, damaged teeth, growths, etc) we will call you while the teeth are being cleaned, to discuss the situation. Dental xrays will be used, if needed, to help evaluate possible problem teeth. If any tooth needs extraction, a local anesthetic will be applied to insure your pet is as comfortable as possible afterwards.
Pets with high risk of periodontal disease (toy & terrier breed dogs, certain breeds of cats) will receive an enamel barrier-sealant to help slow down the re-occurrence of gingivitis and tartar.
Once your pet's teeth are sparkling, the anesthesia is turned off. The veterinary technician caring for your pet stays will your pet continuously while he wakes up, until he can sit up and respond to his name (usually within 5 minutes of when the anesthesia is turned off). After your pet is awake, an antibiotic and antiinflammatant injection will be administered to your pet; an antipain injection will be given to any pet receiving dental extractions.
Your pet's veterinary technician will call you with a post-op report, and with what time your pet can go home. Your pet will go home with detailed home-care instructions, oral antibiotics, and oral pain relief if dental extractions were performed.