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Dentistry is something that all pet owners will need to consider at some point in their pet’s life. Several factors determine when a full cleaning will be recommended (such as genetics, underlying health conditions, and home dental care), but when that time comes for your pet, we want you to understand what goes into a dental cleaning at Lone Star Animal Hospital.

Prior to the procedure, pre-anesthetic bloodwork is run to ensure metabolic health. The dental itself is a “day procedure”, meaning that typically, patients will go home the same day. The morning of the procedure, we will place an IV catheter to ensure IV access throughout the day and to provide IV fluid support during the procedure. We will also give an injectable pain medication- this allows for lower levels of inhalant anesthesia to be run and also helps keep patients comfortable during recovery. Once the procedure is underway, patients are monitored very closely (all the “bells and whistles”- heart rate, EKG, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, carbon dioxide output, and body temperature), and the cleaning portion of the procedure begins. Calculus and plaque are removed using a combination of hand instruments and an ultrasonic scaler. Next, oral radiographs (x-rays) are taken to help us evaluate what’s happening under the gumline to the root and bone. This is where most true dental disease exists. Then, each tooth and the associated gingiva is probed for pocketing, enamel chips or fractures, and exposed pulp. Finally, the teeth are polished with a high-speed polisher and fluoride is applied. At dismissal later that day, we will talk about home dental care- after all, you are now starting with a clean slate for home dental care moving forward!

To schedule an appointment to see if your pet is ready for a cleaning, please contact us!