Dog teeth cleaning (dog dental) and cat teeth cleaning (cat dental) can be rephrased as the physical removal of infection they are NOT cosmetic procedures. As the vast majority of our patients have existing dental disease that requires diagnosis and treatment, there is far more to canine dental and feline dental treatment than just cleaning the teeth.

Once your pet is anesthetized, the 10 steps that are involved in comprehensive treatment include:

1. Initial oral examination, checking all teeth, gums, tongue and palate

2. Removal of tartar and plaque from above and below the gumline (dental cleaning or scaling)  this is done using an ultrasonic dental scaler (similar to that used by human dentists) and hand instruments such as forceps, scalers and curettes.

3. Full dental examination and charting (recording) of findings all areas of the gum surrounding the teeth are probed for signs of inflammation, abnormal pocketing and tissue destruction. Teeth are checked for disease or damage (loose teeth, root exposure, fractures, wear, resorptive lesions). Any extra or missing teeth are noted and investigated as necessary.

4. Dental xrays are taken as required to allow full assessment and diagnosis of disease, particularly below the gumline (examination of tooth roots, surrounding bone, identification of unerupted teeth).

5. Treatment of any disease if needed -a treatment plan is made for each individual affected tooth, and may include extraction, periodontal therapy (such as pocket debridement or flap surgery) or other advanced surgical procedures.

6. Polishing the teeth are polished with power equipment to remove any microscopic tartar deposits, leaving a smooth surface that is harder for plaque to reattach to.

7. Irrigation – the teeth and gums are flushed thoroughly to make sure all debris is removed.

8. Post-operative care in cases where significant disease was treated, medications such as pain relief, antibiotics and antiseptic rinses may be prescribed for the post-operative period. A modified diet may also be recommended whilst healing occurs (usually for the first 7-10 days).

9. Home care program this is very important for maximising the benefit obtained from professional cleaning under anaesthesia, and is aimed at slowing down the accumulation of plaque and tartar.

10. Recheck by the vet regular dental checks will help us keep on top of periodontal disease in your pet. The recommended frequency of dental checks will depend on the stage of disease present as well as other factors that affect your pet’s susceptibility to disease (such as genetics, other health issues and the ability to perform home care). Your vet can advise you on these factors.

We would love to hear your comments or questions about canine dental or feline dental teeth cleaning. Please feel free to leave your comments and questions below.