Dental disease has become the number one health problem for both dogs and cats. Just as in humans, there can be serious consequences to poor dental health for our pets! The negative effects of dental disease don’t stop at the mouth. Once the bacteria penetrate the gums, they enter the bloodstream. The bacteria can then spread throughout the body, causing damage wherever they settle. The kidneys, liver and delicate edges of the heart valves are particularly vulnerable to bacterial invasion.
Because your pet will not “open wide”, this procedure is done under general anesthesia, which allows us to do a much more thorough cleaning under the gum line, which is where most of the real problem is located. Our anesthetics are chosen with your pet’s utmost safety in mind, and we perform routine blood work before anesthetizing to ensure your pet will undergo the procedure safely.
As in human dentistry, scaling of the teeth is performed with both ultrasonic cleaning equipment and hand instruments. The teeth are then polished, which smooths the tooth surface so it becomes more resistant to plaque and tartar, both of which would return very quickly if teeth were not polished after scaling. Antiseptic fluids are flushed beneath the gum line to rid these germs, and fluoride treatment is administered which decreases tooth sensitivity, strengthens enamel, has some antibacterial effects, and decreases the rate of future plaque formation.