While under anesthesia, a comprehensive veterinary dental cleaning will include the following, without any pain or discomfort to your pet:
- A complete oral exam and radiographs (x-rays) to identify any problems beneath the gum-line. (This is similar to the x-rays you might receive from your own dentist.) Common painful problems that could be identified with radiographs are broken teeth and roots, periodontal disease, dead teeth, abscesses or infected teeth.
- A full cleaning under the gum-line where periodontal disease lurks. It would be impossible to clean this area on an awake dog or cat, but this is where periodontal disease begins with bacteria ‘living’ below the gum tissue.
- Professional scaling and polishing of the crown, or visible part of your dog or cat’s teeth. A veterinary cleaning does require scaling or scraping the tooth to remove plaque and calculus. Scaling is completed to remove plaque and tartar build-up on the tooth crown. Last, the teeth are polished leaving a completely smooth surface of the tooth which discourages plaque and bacteria from adhering to the rough tooth surface.
After recovery, your dog or cat is most often able to go home and unless an additional procedure has been done, your pet can eat and return to normal. Your veterinarian should give you a full report of findings and any recommendations for home care in between cleanings.