Dental Procedures

During your pet’s dental they will be given a full oral examination. The technician will clean the teeth and examine each tooth for potential defects. The doctor will then review the technician’s findings and perform their own examination. After this examination the doctor will determine what treatment will be appropriate. Your pet may need radiographs and/or extractions of problem teeth. If, on your surgical paperwork, you have chosen for the doctor to contact you prior to radiographs or extractions the doctor will do so at this point. Once the course of treatment has been determined these procedures will begin. Nerve blocks may be used to provide pain relief to your pet’s mouth for the extractions. Sutures may be placed after the tooth has been extracted. Once all treatments have been done, your pet will be taken off gas anesthesia and moved to recovery.

At the end of the procedure your pet will be moved into recovery. They will be monitored during recovery. Once they are alert enough you will be notified. A technician will call to speak to you and set up a time for your pet to be discharged.

Pick up: Once you have been checked out by our front staff. A technician will then review with you your pet’s aftercare. They will discuss any medications your pet will go home with as well as what you need to do post-surgery. You will be given a discharge sheet that has your post-operative instructions on it for you to refer to if needed. Please be aware because your pet has been intubated during surgery, they may have a cough. Please let us know if this lasts more than a couple of days or becomes severe.

Feeding: Your pet may not want to eat full meals for the first 24 hours. We recommend feeding ½ the normal amount for the first meal after surgery, then gradually increase meals to the normal amount fed.

Activity: Your pet may sleep for the first 24 hours following surgery. This is normal. If they seem excessively tired, please contact us. For routine surgeries, our patients are typically back to their normal selves within 24-36 hours.

If your pet had a dental with extractions, we recommend moistening the food with warm water prior to feeding, or feeding a soft, bland diet (i.e., boiled chicken/beef and cooked plain rice) for the next 2-5 days.

Periodontal Disease: Proper oral hygiene is very important for your pet’s health! Periodontal disease begins with an invisible layer of glycoprotein on the surface of the tooth, which then becomes plaque and calculus. As the calculus builds, bacteria grow and produce toxins that attack healthy tissue. Eventually, these toxins destroy the tissue supporting the tooth and the bone itself recedes, making the tooth loose and painful. The gingival infection can also discharge this debris, bacteria and toxins into the blood stream, possibly affecting the liver, heart, lungs, and kidneys.

Prevention at Home: Home oral hygiene is important to maintain your pet’s dental health between professional cleanings! Teeth brushing is the gold standard of home oral hygiene. Establish a daily routine of brushing your pet’s teeth with a soft toothbrush. To get your pet used to tooth brushing, begin with some spray cheese, or peanut butter on the toothbrush. Allow your pet to lick the brush a few times a day. Once they’re happily licking at the brush, try brushing their teeth for a second or two. End each session with praise. Gradually, begin to apply more vigorous brushing and switch to a flavored pet specific toothpaste. (Do not use toothpaste with fluoride! This is toxic to your pet and dangerous in high amounts if swallowed.)

While not a substitute for brushing, some dental diets and treats that have been proven to decrease the rate of calculus and plaque formation.

Please visit www.vohc.org (Veterinary Oral Health Council) for a list of proven diets, treats, and supplements.