Small Animal Dental Services

The Complete Dental Prophylaxis for Dogs and Cats:
The dental procedure is performed by Dr. Cameron or Dr. Otis and one of our Registered Veterinary Technicians.

Cleaning (scaling)
Each tooth is cleaned, and all tartar removed with the use of an ultrasonic scaler which uses sound waves to remove the tartar that has built up on each tooth.

Dental/periodontal examination
Dr. Cameron or Dr. Otis and the technicians examine each tooth, looking for wear, cracks, fractures in the enamel, loose teeth. The gums surrounding each tooth are probed with an instrument to assess the strength and depth of the tooth attachments to the jaw.

Dental x-rays
Each tooth root is x-rayed with a state-of-the-art digital dental x-ray machine to assess the health of the root, the periodontal ligament and the surrounding jaw bone. Dental x-rays have helped us identify teeth that are decayed at the root even when they appear normal on the surface, avoiding the need for another round of anesthesia and medications months later when the disease does become apparent to the naked eye.

Including timed-release antibiotic epoxy inserted into pockets that have formed under the gums, tooth removal, biopsies of abnormal or excessive gum tissue.

Tooth extractions
Decayed teeth may need to be removed, and this is not always an easy or quick procedure. Many of the teeth in your pet’s mouth have two or three roots. At times one root is decayed, requiring extraction, but the other roots are still firm, making the extraction difficult. The tooth may be sectioned (cut into pieces) using a high-speed pneumatic drill, to remove it one root at a time. The gums overlying the roots may be incised and bone may be cut away to perform the extraction. Prior to extraction a local anesthetic is injected to numb the area of jaw. After the extraction(s), the root socket is cleaned with antiseptic and the gums are sutured closed with dissolvable, antibiotic impregnated sutures. This keeps the healing area from packing with food once your pet returns home.

All surfaces of each tooth are polished using a high-speed polisher and polishing paste, much like your dentist does to your teeth. This slows the build-up of tartar.

Anesthesia is necessary for us to perform this dental work on your pet efficiently, painlessly and without scaring your pet. Prior to the procedure, pre-anesthetic blood tests are run. These tests ensure your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia.

While under anesthesia your pet is monitored by the technicians and veterinarians using a monitor that records ECG (heart electrical) activity, heart rate, blood oxygen level, carbon dioxide level, breathing rate, body temperature and blood pressure.

An intravenous (IV) catheter is placed, and IV fluids are given to the patient before and during anesthesia. This helps improve the anesthetized patient’s blood pressure and allows us to quickly administer any necessary medications while your pet is under anesthesia.

A dental procedure can take 30 to 90 minutes (usually around 45-60 minutes) after which your pet is recovered from anesthesia, monitored throughout the day and sent home with you in the afternoon. Antibiotics and/ or pain medications may be sent home and directions for these medications as well as directions for caring for your pet following anesthesia, and the dental work will be reviewed with you when you pick your pet up. All the information will also be written down for you to refer to later.