A professional dental cleaning for your dog or cat is a safe and important procedure for maintaining the overall health of your pets. Many people are surprised that, just like human dentists, veterinarians recommended yearly or twice yearly professional dental cleanings for their pets. Even if you’re taking great care of your dog’s or cat’s teeth at home–and we hope you are!–a professional dental cleaning is the only way to remove stubborn plaque build-up and calculi, discoloration of the teeth, and bacterial deposits under the gums.
Because of the nature of this procedure, dogs and cats must be sedated in order to make sure we are able to clean and examine their teeth as thoroughly and effectively as possible. We always use the safest methods of anesthesia, and the procedure is generally finished within a half hour. Plus, the sedation helps keep your cat or dog calm and unaware of the potentially stressful noises and feelings that accompany a professional dental cleaning.
What Does a Dental Cleaning for Pets Include?
Just like a human dental cleaning, for pet dental care, we start with an ultrasonic scaler to help remove very resistant plaque, calculus, and tartar from the dog or cat’s teeth. This instrument also helps us clean up under the gums, which are almost impossible to reach with regular brushing.
Then we polish the pet’s teeth with a microabrasive polishing tip–the same one your dentist uses. This helps work out any remaining particles in the enamel and smooths the teeth for future resistance against tartar.
After the polishing, we coat the teeth with a sealant, like waxing your car, to help prevent tartar from getting a foothold in the enamel.
Lastly, a fluoride foam helps strengthen the enamel–and it smells really good, too! Once the teeth are shiny, clean, and smooth, the veterinarian has a better opportunity to really examine your pet’s gums and teeth for signs of damage, injury, or gingival recession.
For an up-close view of our dental cleaning procedure, watch our dental cleaning video!
Why Is Dental Cleaning for Pets Important?
Professional dental cleaning for pets is particularly important in helping to prevent serious bacterial infections, periodontal disease, and gingivitis, which, when severe, can lead to heart failure, liver damage, kidney failure, and damage to other essential organs, as well as immune system suppression. Healthy teeth are crucial for healthy dogs and cats, and our veterinarians recommend twice yearly dental exams and yearly dental cleanings in addition to continuous at-home dental care. For tips on keeping your pet’s teeth healthy at home, visit our At-Home Dental Care page.
Call Today to Schedule a Free Dental Exam
Questions about your cat or dog’s teeth? Call us today to schedule an appointment or come by any time for a free dental exam! We’d also be happy to speak with you about our recommendations for at-home dental care and products and to answer any questions you might have about the importance of professional dental cleaning for your pet!