Teeth Cleaning for Famous Pets like Yours
Part of a routine check up at Town N Country is a visual inspection of your pet’s teeth. Even if your cat isn’t finicky like Morris the cat or a hero like Lassie, she may need to have her pearly whites cleaned.
Your own teeth are brushed twice a day, and still should be cleaned professionally every six months. Our pets’ teeth don’t usually get brushed ever, so your pet may need a professional cleaning done once every six months to two years. We’ll recommend the frequency according to your pet’s unique needs.
You may also notice symptoms that may indicate dental trouble – like a pet that’s not eating well. When dental problems are discovered (or confirmed) during an exam, a cleaning is scheduled.
Here’s what you can expect when your pet is scheduled for an appearance on Canine (or Feline!) Camera…
Setting the Scene. Prior to the cleaning, pre-anesthetic lab work is needed. On the day of the cleaning, a pet has to follow the same fasting procedure that anyone undergoing surgery would. Consult with your vet for the cutoff time on the night before for all food and water. And of course, your pet won’t eat the morning of the cleaning.
Prepping for the Show. Once you arrive to Town N Country, your pet will receive a pre-anesthetic exam which is much like a regular physical exam. A vet will listen to heart and lungs and check the pet’s gums and teeth to check and see if anything has changed. If not, the staff will proceed.
With a normal lab report, your pet is ready for a straightforward procedure. While the veterinarian completes your pet’s customized anesthesia and pain plan, the technical staff puts into place the IV catheter.
Lights, Camera, Action. Routine safety precautions are followed. For example, a tube is positioned in his airway to protect his lungs from water going down his windpipe while delivering 100% oxygen to his lungs. The IV fluids support his circulatory system. As anesthesia is administered, oxygen levels, heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, temperature and respirations are continually monitored closely.
Once the pet is completely under anesthesia, the technicians will take digital radiographs or x-rays of the teeth. The next step is to actually clean the teeth. For above the gum line cleaning, calcified tartar and plaque are removed with the use of calculus removing forceps, hand instruments and power scaling equipment.
If the process stopped here without polishing the teeth, bacteria and sugars would damage the teeth at the next opportunity (probably lunch). Polishing the teeth removes all the microscopic etchings that the scaling equipment made on the teeth.
Once the polishing is finished, the circumference of each tooth is probed to see if there are any pockets harboring plaque and bacteria.
The Plot Thickens. If there is a diseased tooth, it’s at this point that it would be removed. Extraction and treatment methods depend on the tooth’s size and position. For example, a molar might require sectioning the tooth into halves for easier removal. With the tooth out, the remaining socket needs to be flushed out and cleaned.
The Finale. Once your pet wakes up, he’s ready to go home with you. If you can brush his teeth at least 3 or 4 times per week or use a plaque barrier weekly, he may not need his next cleaning for many more years.
Credits. February is National Pet Dental Health Month -it’s a great time to brush up on dental health skills and have your pet’s mouth examined at Town N Country. Give us a call!