Pets are put under general anesthesia for a comprehensive dental cleaning. Tartar is removed from the tooth surface and the surface of the tooth is cleaned ultrasonically. The tooth is then polished to seal the surface and slow down future tartar build-up. The most important part of the dental cleaning is cleaning the part of the tooth that is under the gum. This is where bacteria reside that can travel through the bloodstream and create problems throughout the body.
You cannot tell pets to “stay still” for this, so general anesthesia is required. A tube is also placed in their trachea which prevents any bacteria from entering the lungs. Teeth integrity is evaluated and any teeth that have underlying problems are removed before they becomes abscessed or painful. Animals under anesthesia are monitored closely, as with all anesthetic procedures.
We have a digital dental x-ray machine that allows us to visualize changes to the tooth beneath the surface. This helps guide us towards the ongoing health of teeth and when determining which teeth are affected enough to need surgical extraction.