A quick note about “anesthesia-free dental cleanings”. This is a term that some grooming facilities use, but it is very misleading. It is impossible to clean and evaluate the entire tooth, especially underneath the gum-line where periodontal disease begins, while the pet is awake. This is not only a dangerous practice, but can also be traumatic for your pet. A professional dental cleaning (COHAT), done under anesthesia, includes all of the services listed below and should only be done by veterinary professionals. Please visit AFD.AVDC.ORG
to learn more about why anesthesia-free dental cleanings are NOT recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Veterinary Oral Health Council, and us.
Radiographs: X-rays will be done of every tooth to help find any cavities, periodontal disease, fractures, “dead” teeth, unerupted teeth, FORLs, abscesses, or other abnormalities. Dogs & Cats are less likely to get cavities and more likely to have periodontal disease (bone loss, abscesses, etc. underneath the gum-line). These things cannot be fully evaluated without dental radiographs. The radiographs, coupled with the oral probing and evaluation, tell us the whole story. This highlights why it is so important for us to only do dental cleanings while our pets are under anesthesia. In order to take full mouth radiographs, they need to stay completely still and not bite down on the sensor, which can only be accomplished during general anesthesia. Additionally, we would not be able to use our ultrasonic dental scaler underneath the gumline in order to get ALL the plaque and tartar off if the patient were awake.
Doctor’s Oral Exam: The doctor will evaluate each tooth to identify any crown fractures, mobility, large pockets, or other abnormalities. The doctor will also do a complete oral evaluation. They will make sure that your pet’s tongue, cheeks, hard palate, soft palate, tonsils, frenulum, and facial structures are normal.
Scaling: We use an ultrasonic scaler to quickly remove the plaque and tartar on the teeth and underneath the gumline. Once the scaling has been completed, your pet’s teeth will be coated with a substance, called ICPlaque, which allows us to easily see if there are any areas of plaque (the white substance that later hardens and turns into tartar) that need to also be removed. Once the teeth are completely clean, they are polished. Polishing them will make the surface of the teeth smooth. A smooth tooth makes it harder for plaque and bacteria to adhere to. This will help maintain your pet’s dental health.
Oravet: Once everything is completed, we are excited to be able to apply Oravet to your pet’s teeth! Oravet works as a barrier that basically coats the tooth surface and makes it slicker, so that plaque and tartar cannot adhere as easily. The initial application lasts 2 weeks. After that, you can keep it up with either an Oravet chew once a day or a swab on the teeth once a week.
Extractions: We are in the business of saving teeth. However, sometimes a tooth is compromised enough that it is recommended to be extracted. We will follow your instructions on the drop off form concerning extractions, and we can always give you a call and discuss this recommendation with you mid-procedure.
Periodontal Treatments: Sometimes a tooth looks like it’s on it’s way to being removed, but doesn’t have enough bone loss to warrant extraction. These teeth typically have large pockets but are otherwise healthy. Here at Midtown, we are able to usually save these teeth with a product called Doxirobe. Doxirobe is a filler that contains an antibiotic. This filler hardens to form a seal between the tooth and gum. This protects the pocket from further infection and helps facilitate gingival growth so that the affected tooth is no longer in danger of extraction.