So, your pet has arrived for a vaccine appointment, and your friendly veterinarian says that Spot needs a dental cleaning! First, we collect some blood and make sure that Spot is healthy and his internal organs are functioning well. Then, he is booked in for his procedure on Friday and here is a brief rundown of what to expect.
The day prior to Spot’s procedure, the clinic will call to remind you to take any food away after midnight. As with humans, this is to make sure that Spot’s stomach is ready for the anesthetic. You may get that “where’s my breakfast?” look from him in the morning, but don’t cave! It’s in his best interest!
On the procedure day, you will meet with the doctor. They will do a brief exam to make sure Spot is looking good for the procedure, and they will review any findings on the blood work and answer any questions you may have about the dental procedure.
Spot is then transferred safely into the hands of one of our caring Registered Veterinary Technicians. The same technician will be with Spot before, during and after his procedure, making sure he gets lots of love and proper care.
In the treatment room, Spot is given sedation, specifically tailored to his needs and dosed based on his exact weight from that morning. This helps him to relax, eliminates stress and anxiety and allows him to stay under anesthetic using less inhalant. The sedation also contains pain medication, which is important to ensure Spot is comfortable through the duration of his procedure.
Once Spot is good and sleepy, we place him on IV fluids. This helps maintain healthy blood pressure but also allows direct IV access in the chance of an emergency. As well, Spot will be intubated. This helps him breathe in the inhalant anesthetic, protect his airway and provides him with oxygen.
Patient safety is very important to us, and we monitor all the parameters including; blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm, blood oxygen levels, carbon dioxide levels, respiration rate and temperature. The technician is continuously listening and watching for any abnormalities through the duration of the procedure and will be quick to alert the doctor of any abnormalities.
Once we are confident that your pet is stable, we begin the procedure. This includes full mouth x-rays to view below the gum line. The teeth we can see in our pet’s mouth is just the tip of the iceberg! Actually, up to 2/3 of the tooth lies below the gum surface. The doctor will then review the x-rays and then assess each tooth. This process is called charting; we will record any abnormalities and discuss our findings with you.
Thankfully, Spot doesn’t need any extractions today, just a good cleaning. Using our state-of-the-art equipment the teeth are expertly scaled and polished, all by our highly skilled R.V.T. We make sure to get all the plaque and tartar and also anything below the gum line this important step helps prevent any further disease progression.
Spot will recover in a warm, dimly lit, quiet area of the clinic. Our technician will sit with him until he is fully awake and stable. We will make sure to call you the second he is awake and set a time based on your schedule when you can pick him up!
And that’s Spot’s dental day in a nutshell. Hopefully, this shows you that Spot will be in great hands, and lessen the anxiety you may have about dental procedures.
Maintaining healthy teeth are a very important part of your pet’s general health!
Written by: Annex Animal Hospital