Our veterinarians provide dental services for pets including routine cleaning and polishing (dental prophylaxis) and surgical tooth extractions to manage and treat severe oral disease conditions. We also incorporate digital dental x-rays to ensure good root health after your pet's cleaning.
When dental problems and oral diseases are diagnosed, sometimes a procedure may be necessary. Ashburn Village Animal Hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art oral surgical equipment and the latest technology to provide your pet with a safe and advanced dental procedure.
Pet Dental Care
Routine and preventive dental care is vital to your pet's long term health. Pets with poor oral hygiene can develop periodontal disease, which can often lead to heart, lung, and kidney disease. Ashburn Village Animal Hospital offers a full range of dental services for cats and dogs including dental examinations, dental extractions, and oral surgery as well as home care instructions for keeping your dog's or cat's teeth clean and healthy.
Routine Pet Dental Examinations
Our veterinarians perform basic oral exams on all our patients during their comprehensive physical exam. Puppies and kittens will be examined to detect any problems related to the deciduous (baby) teeth, missing or extra teeth, swellings, and oral development. Senior pets will be evaluated for developmental anomalies, the accumulation of plaque and tartar, periodontal disease, and oral tumors.
Good Oral Hygiene for Pets
Periodontal disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats. Approximately 85-90% of dogs and cats have some form of periodontal disease, which makes them vulnerable to pain, bad breath, and tooth loss. Oral infections can spread and cause damage to the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys leading to more serious health problems. We offer services as well as many dental products that can help your pet maintain a clean, bright, healthy smile.
Owners often don't realize that their pets are having dental issues until they have brown or green teeth, smelly breath, or difficulty chewing food. Good oral hygiene is the best prevention. At-home prevention is highly recommended by our doctors and staff. Once periodontal disease has set in prevention will only help with any further build up. In order to start on a fresh clean slate a dental cleaning is recommended.
Dental Care Tips for Dogs and Cats
- Schedule a dental oral exam for your dog or cat every year
- Schedule regular dental cleanings as recommended by your veterinarian
- Brush your pets teeth daily, or give your pet a dental hygiene chew every other day
- Serve dog or cat food and treats that control tarter and plaque and promote good dental health
What Happens During a Pet Dental Cleaning
- Once admitted in the morning, the vet will review all test results and then examine your pet to make sure it is not at any known risk for anesthesia (things can change since the last visit.) An anti-nausea injection is given to decrease nausea from any of the anesthetic medications. Then, a premedication drug is administered to animals 10-20 minutes prior to the dental cleaning. This gives the pet a chance to settle and become calm before placing an IV catheter.
- Another drug is then administered to help the animal’s body relax so that it can be more easily put under gas anesthesia. Once the animal is fully sedated, an endotracheal tube is placed so that they stay asleep with gas anesthesia. Monitoring equipment is used to monitor the patient’s heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and body temperature, constantly throughout the whole procedure.
- Next, the dental prophylaxis begins. An ultra-sonic scaler is used to remove calculus and tarter from the teeth and gumline. After the scaling is complete, the doctor probes the gumline over every tooth to check for any pocketing and then also notes any cavities or teeth that need to be pulled. Dental x-rays are helpful in detecting root decay and confirming the need for a tooth to be extracted.
- If any teeth are pulled, local anesthetics are injected into the gums to help with pain during and after the procedure. Absorbable sutures are placed where needed and typically, they dissolve within 3 weeks.
- The end of the procedure consists of polishing the teeth to even out the teeth after they’ve been cleaned of tartar. At this time, any pain injections are given, and a laser treatment is performed to the whole mouth before the pet starts to wake up. The pet is then turned off of the anesthesia and placed on oxygen and then slowly weaned back onto room air.
- Once the pet is awake, they are then returned to their comfy warm kennel where they sleep off the anesthetics until it’s their time to go home.