Proper cleaning of the teeth requires complete cooperation of the patient so plaque and tartar can be removed properly. Anesthesia is required to thoroughly clean the teeth. Although anesthesia always carries a degree of risk, the modern anesthetics in use in our hospital minimize this risk, even for older dogs. Bloodwork will be performed and analyzed prior to anesthesia to evaluate blood cell counts, organ functions and determine the type of anesthetic protocol we will use for your pet.
There are four steps in the cleaning process that will be used on your dog:
- Scaling removes the tartar above and below the gum line. This is done with hand instruments and ultrasonic cleaning equipment.
- Polishing smooths the surface of the teeth, making them resistant to additional plaque formation.
- Flushing removes dislodged tartar from the teeth and helps to remove the bacteria that accompany tartar.
- Fluoride will be applied to help seal, protect and strengthen the teeth. It also helps to inhibit plaque formation.
Here Dr. Klabunde and Rycki, LVT, are performing a dental cleaning.