You are at the vet clinic and the veterinarian tells you that your beloved pet needs a dental. What does that mean? What is going to happen to your pet when you drip the, off? Let’s talk about what happens when your pet goes to the vets for a dental.

When your pet arrives they are treated like one of our own. All pets get lab work run and then analyzed to make sure they are healthy enough for anesthesia. An IV catheter is placed and your pet will undergo general anesthesia for the procedure. Once your pet is anesthetized, the dental procedure will start.

First, the teeth will be scaled and cleaned to remove any plaque and tarter buildup on the tooth's crown. The teeth will also be scaled under the gum line to remove bacteria that could not be reached on an awake pet. This bacteria is where periodontal disease starts and if left leads to many of the large problems related to dental disease. Once the tarter and plaque is removed, the teeth are radiographed.

Why radiograph the teeth? Dental radiographs play a pivotal role in identifying problems beneath the gum line. Dental radiographs are carefully taken to show if there are any broken teeth and roots, periodontal disease, dead or infected teeth or abscesses. The following link shows the different grades of dental disease including radiographs showing what is going on below the gum line:

After the radiographs are taken identifying any teeth that need to be extracted, a local anesthetic is injected near the problem teeth. The problem teeth or tooth is then carefully elevated from the gum line and extracted. Sometimes depending on the number of roots the tooth has, the tooth will have to be drilled out and a mucogingival flap will have to be made. After the extractions, the teeth are radiographed again to make sure no pieces of the root or tooth remain and then the sites are carefully sutured closed with an absorbable suture. Finally, the teeth are polished to provide a smooth surface to discourage bacteria and plaque buildup from coming back. When the teeth are cleaned and polished your pet is woken up from anesthesia and carefully monitored until fully awake!

Hope to see you soon to give your pet that shining smile!

Rustburg Vet Clinic