What Happens When My Dog Or Cat Gets a Dental Cleaning?

By Species, By Topic, Dental, Dogs

When was the last time you took a look at your pet’s teeth? Do it right now—go ahead, and lift a gum. If you see the telltale signs of tartar, or catch a whiff of bad breath, your pet might be developing dangerous dental problems. Just like people, animals are susceptible to gum disease, cavities, and painful infections. Left unchecked for too long, your pet’s dental problems could lead to serious health problems. A great way to save your pet from unnecessary pain and suffering is to get their teeth regularly cleaned at the veterinarian.

If you’ve ever tried to examine your pet’s mouth at home, you know it can be a risky proposition. This is why dental appointments at the veterinarian begin by putting the animal under sedation. The veterinarian will then examine the animal’s entire mouth, including below the gum line to look for the presence of gingivitis (inflammation of the gum), periodontal disease (that can cause loss of bone and soft tissues), and other common mouth maladies.

A dental procedure by your veterinarian includes examining the gums, evaluation for any dental disease, flushing of the space between the tooth and gum tissue, and cleaning and polishing the teeth, including below the gum line. Modern veterinary dental practice involves ultrasonic tooth cleanings, followed by polishing of the crown of the tooth to help slow down the process of plaque development. If your veterinarian finds anything serious in the examination, they will typically treat it after the cleaning. If it is a complex procedure, the vet will put your pet under anesthesia. Even a “cooperative” pet must be under anesthesia to safely perform the procedures. The depth of the the area around the tooth in the gums can be measured and documented in order to evaluate the progression of any disease process. If evaluation of the root of the tooth is necessary, x-rays can be performed. X-rays can reveal dental disease that is not evident from a simple an oral exam.

Left unchecked, the bacteria that flourish in a diseased mouth can lead to many other, non-dental diseases—including serious problems like heart disease. Since the prevention and removal of dental disease can have a direct correlation to the prevention of other diseases throughout the body, keeping your pet’s mouth disease-free can ultimately lead to a healthier and happier pet! Dental cleaning should be performed on those pets that do not receive any home dental care at a minimum of once a year. Potentially more frequent dental procedures may need to be performed on those pets that are prone to the development of tartar from because of poor diet, genetics, or other abnormalities that allow the tartar to form more rapidly.

If you’d like to schedule a dental cleaning with CEDARCREST Animal Clinic for your dog or cat!, please call 540-943-7577.

CEDARCREST Animal Clinic provides medical and surgical care for every stage of your pet's life including preventive wellness care exams and vaccines, spays/neuters, and a variety of specialized care for your dog, cat, avian, or exotic. We are home to the only veterinarian practitioner in Virginia to be double Boarded in Avian and Canine/Feline care and provide care for birds, small mammals, and reptiles of all sorts! Plus, we are home to Virginia's most exclusive dog boarding resort that includes heated floors, an expansive play area, and even webcams so you can watch your pet while you're away. We're located in Fishersville, Virginia, and serve Augusta County and surrounding areas including Waynesboro, Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Charlottesville. 

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