Your pet has very similar dental needs to you! Plaque and tartar build up quickly unless you effectively brush your pet’s teeth. If tartar remains on their teeth, they will develop gum infections which can result in the loss of teeth and infections in other body systems. Dental health has a significant impact on the entire body and all organ systems.
Brushing your pet’s teeth at home on a regular basis (daily to every other day) can significantly decrease the need for and frequency of anesthetic dental cleanings. We would love to demonstrate teeth brushing for you at your next appointment!
Even with regular teeth brushing most animals need periodic thorough dental cleanings just like you. A thorough dental cleaning is conducted under general anesthetic for any patient at Walnut Creek Animal Clinic. Because our patients cannot lay still and allow us to fully evaluate their mouth while awake, anesthesia is required for a successful, thorough dental cleaning.
All of our dental procedures receive the same anesthetic protocol as any surgery patient. We perform physical examinations, ECG and laboratory testing prior to anesthesia then monitor with the same care used for general surgical patients. During your pet’s dental cleaning we will clean the teeth with an ultrasonic scaler above and below the gumline, radiograph, perform a careful evaluation of your pet’s mouth, take dental x-rays for additional information, extract any teeth if necessary, polish, and chart teeth. This procedure is very similar to the procedures of a human dentist.
Although it seems scary to anesthetize your pet for a procedure that you experience while awake, pets will not hold their mouths open or allow probing, cleaning and x-rays without anesthesia. The safety of this procedure is greatly enhanced by the careful monitoring and pre-anesthesia evaluation that we perform.
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Veterinary DentalCollege (AVDC) recognize that these procedures must be conducted under carefully monitored, general anesthesia with an endotracheal tube placed to prevent lung contamination with fluid and dental debris. These are the standards we follow at Walnut Creek Animal Clinic.