All dental procedures require an anesthetic. Without the patient being anesthetized, cleaning their teeth properly would be near impossible since they don’t “open wide”. The patient will be started with an intravenous anesthetic, a tube is then placed in their trachea, and then a gas anesthetic will be administered. It is a very safe anesthetic that is also used in human surgery.
Your dog or cat friend’s teeth will be cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler, the same as is used in your dentist’s office. The tartar and plaque will be removed with the scaler by blasting it with ultrasonic waves, and the teeth are then polished. Often times there are teeth that need to be removed because they are abscessed, have cavities, and are loose or broken. Special precautions must be taken to remove canines from the lower jaw so that the jawbone does not fracture. The gum line may be sutured together to cover the tooth socket.
Sometimes there is a large amount of infection from the tartar and plaque build up on the teeth. Since the tartar and plaque get blasted away from the ultrasonic waves it can cause microscopic cuts in the gums. When that happens, the infection can migrate into the blood stream and cause a systemic infection involving other major organs in the body. We will often prescribe antibiotics to help prevent these types of infections from occurring.