Oral health is very important at Sequist Animal Hospital. When rough tartar accumulates on tooth surfaces and touches the gum line it is time for a professional oral assessment, treatment and prevention visit.
What is involved with a dental exam?
A dental examination is part of an overall assessment of your pet. It involves looking at the entire oral cavity, including the teeth. Although any of the doctors in the hospital can assess your pet’s mouth and make recommendations, it is Dr. Loh who performs all dental procedures.
Once the examination has been performed, we will then communicate with you to confirm that a dental assessment and cleaning is necessary. Your veterinarian, or veterinary technician, will review with you what procedures are likely required prior to a dental cleaning. Your veterinarian may perform pre-anesthetic blood tests to ensure that kidney and liver function are satisfactory for anesthesia. Anesthesia is important to allow tooth-by-tooth examination including dental x-rays.
Click here to learn about dental plaque and tartar.
Click here to learn about pre-anesthetic blood tests
What should I expect before the procedure and how do I prepare for the procedure?
Click here to learn what to expect before and after with your pets procedure.
What happens during a professional dental cleaning procedure?
A dental cleaning visit will include a thorough dental examination of each tooth, radiographs (x-rays), teeth cleaning and polishing to remove the tartar and periodontal disease-causing plaque. This is done while your pet is under general anesthesia.
Once anesthetized, your veterinarian, with the help of veterinary technicians and assistants, will thoroughly examine the mouth, noting abnormalities in the medical record. A dental probe will be used to evaluate gum bleeding and periodontal pockets where food can accumulate and decay if not properly cared for.
When periodontal disease is advanced, it may not be possible to save the badly affected teeth, which may need to be extracted during the procedure.
Since it can be difficult to predict the extent of dental disease in advance of the procedure, your veterinarian may contact you during the procedure to discuss any additional treatment that may be necessary.
How are my pet’s teeth cleaned?
After a thorough examination of your pet’s mouth, tooth scaling with a combination of hand tools and an ultrasonic scaler will be used to remove plaque and tartar above and below the gum line. The tartar below the gum line causes the most significant dental disease, so it is important that it be thoroughly removed.
After scaling, the teeth are polished to remove microscopic scratches and decrease the rate of subsequent plaque build-up.
Do I have to make an appointment for my dog to have dental scaling and polishing?
Yes. Your veterinarian will perform pre-anesthestic tests and examine for underlying disorders prior to the procedure.