What to Expect

Can my pet eat or drink before their dental cleaning appointment?

Your pet should not have any food after 10pm the night before but can have water until their admitting appointment.

Do you offer dental cleaning packages?

We do offer dental packages for your pet’s dental needs. After the doctor examines your pet, they will be able to help you in answering any questions about the package and its associated cost.

How often does my pet need dental cleanings?

Most dogs and cats need dental cleanings annually but this can differ based on age and the individual pet’s needs. After a careful evaluation of your pets’ dental health, our doctors can give you a specific recommendation for your pets’ dental needs.

Is it safe to anesthetize my pet?

A common concern that owners have about dental cleanings is that the pet has to be anesthetized. We do everything possible to make the procedure as safe as we can for every pet. Every animal is monitored by an experienced technician while under anesthesia. The technician will evaluate your pet’s carbon dioxide and oxygen levels, body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate throughout the procedure and the doctor will adjust the anesthesia, when necessary. We use only the safest anesthetic protocols and tailor the drugs to fit each individual pet’s need. We also offer pre-anesthetic lab work and IV fluids to further ensure the safety of your pet while under anesthesia.

What can I expect the day of the dental cleaning?

We prefer to admit pets scheduled for dental cleaning procedures at a scheduled appointment time typically between 7:30am and 8am. Please allow approximately 20 minutes for your admitting exam with the doctor. Your pet will need to stay with us for the day, but will be able to go home later that same afternoon. A team member will let you know the best time to pick up your pet, and your dental discharge instructions will be reviewed with you accordingly including instructions and medications. If you need to pick up your pet at a certain time, please let us know ahead of time so that we can do our best to accommodate your needs.

What happens during a dental cleaning?

After your pet is admitted in the morning they will have any pre-anesthetic preparations done (such as pre-operative bloodwork and placing an IV catheter). Your pet is then anesthetized by a doctor and one of our experienced veterinary technicians will begin the dental cleaning process – much like a dental hygienist at your dental office. Dental x-rays are also performed at this time. After the x-rays are taken and the teeth are cleaned and polished, the doctor will evaluate your pet’s teeth, gums and mouth, as well as any x-rays taken. If evaluation is normal your pet goes into recovery at that time. If any abnormalities are noted by the doctor, they will call you with a recommendation for further treatment.

What is the benefit of a dental x-ray?

Dental x-ray allows us to evaluate every aspect of the tooth, both above and below the gum line. A large amount of dental pathology or disease cannot be visualized on the crown of the tooth (the surface that you can see) but can be present under the gum line. This is another tool to help us provide your pet with the best dental examination and health possible.

What is the benefit of doing regular dental cleanings?

Most people notice a foul odor to their pet’s breath as they get older. But dental disease can be much more serious than just a bad breath. As dental disease progresses, it can become very painful to your pet. They can develop significant infections in their mouths, and dental disease can contribute to other health problems such as heart disease and kidney disease. By doing routine dental cleanings, we can help lower the risk of your pet experiencing this kind of discomfort and illness.

What other services might be recommended during a dental cleaning?

Some pets need to have additional treatments done after the initial dental cleaning is finished. These include bonded sealants for fractured or chipped teeth as well as the extraction of a tooth if it is abscessed or fractured beyond repair. Our doctors will call you after the initial dental cleaning and exam if further treatments are indicated. They will discuss their recommendations with you and then help you decide what will be best for you and your pet.

When can I schedule a dental procedure?

We schedule dental procedures Monday through Friday. On an emergency basis, we may be able to do dental procedures on the weekends or can refer you to one of our sister hospitals.

Who will perform my pet’s dental cleaning?

All of our doctors are able to do the dental procedures and recommended treatments, and many of our technicians are also trained to perform routine scaling and cleaning, similar to a dental hygienist.

Why does my pet need to be under anesthesia for a dental cleaning?

To do a thorough dental cleaning your pet must be under anesthesia. Understandably, pets will not sit still for dental procedures so anesthesia is required for the safety of our team as well as your pet. Additionally, a large amount of dental disease is actually present under the gum line. With anesthesia, we are able to clean up under the edge of the gum line, along the back and in between the teeth for a more thorough dental cleaning.