Typical Dental Cleaning and Examination
We highly recommend completing a physical exam, medical history review, pre-anesthetic blood screening and an EKG to insure all possible problems are known prior to putting your patient under anesthesia. Once these procedures are completed we will calculate and administer the pre-anesthetic medications best suited for your pet.
Approximately 30 minutes after the pre-anesthetics have been given an intravenous catheter is placed and the patient is started on IV fluids. We feel IV fluids are very important to improve the safety of the anesthesia, help maintain adequate blood pressure, kidney function, to prevent postoperative dehydration, and allow a quicker recovery from anesthesia. All of our dental patients receive a catheter and fluids. One other advantage of the catheter is an access to the blood stream should any emergency drugs be needed.
Once the induction agent has been given the patient will be entubated with a tube to allow the delivery of oxygen and anesthetic gases. An anesthetic monitor will be hooked up to evaluate heart rate and blood pressure during the procedure, the eyes will be lubricated to keep them moist, and the animal is placed on a warming pad to maintain adequate body temperature. The patients are then covered with their own clean blanket for warmth and protection.
At this time a whole mouth set of radiographs are obtained. Whole mouth films are very important to find problems that can't be seen on an oral exam. This is where we can identify painful problems that are hidden from site. We use a digital radiograph system which eliminates the need for excess radiation and allows the doctor the ability to immediately evaluate the films. While the doctor evaluates the radiographs the veterinary assistant starts the cleaning process that involves scaling of the teeth both above and below the gums, rinsing, polishing, and apply fluoride to the teeth.
Once the teeth are cleaned, the doctor will examine all parts of the mouth. Any abnormalities found on the radiographs or on the exam are then charted on the dental record. If any treatments are warranted, the owner will then be called with the recommended therapies and an estimate will be given. Our policy is to give the estimate at this time so that if the owner elects treatment it can be started while the patient is under anesthesia. This will prevent the patient from having to undergo an additional anesthetic procedure at a later time. Only rarely, are we unable to complete the procedures on the same visit. We suggest that all owners leave a phone number so that we are able to reach them with the recommended treatment and estimate. If we cannot reach the owner for approval of the recommended procedures they will not be performed.
After the procedures are performed the animal is removed from the anesthetic agents and is placed in recovery where they are carefully monitored. Most animals are ready to go home within an hour of finishing the procedures. You will be given written instructions on the procedures performed with photos often used to demonstrate the procedures. At discharge is the best time to schedule the next visit for you pet. Home dental care may be demonstrated at this time or at any time on future visits. It is of utmost importance to do some dental care at home to insure the health of your pets mouth. Preventing dental disease will often prevent medical problems as your pet ages such as; kidney, liver, and heart problems.