What Happens During a Pet’s Dental Procedure?

What Happens During a Pet's Dental Procedure?

Pairing professional dental cleanings with at-home dental care is the best way to protect your pet from periodontal disease and all of the health complications (like tooth decay, tooth loss, systemic infection, and organ damage) associated with it. If you’ve decided to schedule a pet dentistry appointment for your pet, you’ve taken a big step toward safeguarding their health and happiness. While our veterinarians and staff at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital are always here to answer your questions, this article will help you prepare for your pet’s dental appointment and know what to expect.

Preparing for Your Pet's Dental Appointment

For our patients’ safety and comfort, pet dental cleanings and exams are performed with pets under general anesthesia. This also allows for proper cleaning of the teeth under the gumline where bacteria and inflammation like to hide.

We’ll always schedule an exam and laboratory tests prior to your pet’s appointment to rule out any potentially dangerous underlying conditions and to ensure your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. During this exam, we’ll also weigh your pet to determine the proper anesthesia dose that will be administered during his or her upcoming dental appointment.

In addition, our veterinarian will provide you with a few instructions for the night and morning before your pet’s appointment. These might include food and water restrictions or potentially the administration of oral medications to ensure your pet’s safety.

What Happens During a Pet Dentistry Appointment?

One of our veterinarians will examine your pet on the day of the procedure. Once they are cleared for anesthesia, they will be given an injectable sedative and then general anesthesia will be administered. The anesthesia and Oxygen will be delivered through a tube placed in your pet’s airway. This tube protects your pet’s airway by preventing oral bacteria from entering their respiratory system.

We will then perform a visual oral examination and take dental radiographs (X-rays) which enable us to detect and address potential problems occurring inside a patient’s teeth or below the gum line. After documenting any disease, we will begin cleaning, scaling, and polishing your pet’s teeth to remove plaque and tartar buildup above and below the gum line. A member of our experienced staff will be dedicated to monitoring your pet’s vital signs and progress throughout the entire anesthesia, using state-of-the-art medical equipment, for the duration of the procedure.

If there is significant disease like loose teeth, broken teeth, tooth root infections, bone loss or other painful processes, we may recommend extraction of the tooth to relieve the pain and to prevent the disease from spreading to other teeth in the future. One of our veterinarians will explain if your pet might need extractions.

Post-Dental Recovery Instructions for Pets

Following your pet’s appointment, we’ll provide you with verbal and written recovery instructions that will vary based on the extent of your pet’s dental treatment. We will provide you with medications and administration instructions, if necessary, and we might recommend feeding your pet a diet of soft food for a short period of time.

To learn more about the importance of pet dentistry or to schedule your pet’s next cleaning, we welcome you to contact Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital today.