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Frequently Asked Questions:
Why does my pet need to have anesthesia for this procedure?
Think of the degree of cooperation that you give the hygienist when you have your teeth cleaned. For 45 minutes you remain reasonably still while they scale and polish your teeth. Imagine if someone tried to do this to you without explaining the process. Imagine if you had a painful area in your mouth as many dogs and cats do. Many conditions can be hidden under the gumline or at the roots, this is why anesthesia is essential to adequately evaluate your pet’s mouth. The most critical part of a dental cleaning is removing tartar under the gumline which cannot be done without anesthesia.
My pet is not acting painful and is eating normally so how can there be any problems in the mouth?
Unfortunately, cats and dogs cannot point to dental problems with their paws; moreover they are very adept at hiding their oral pain! Most pets with painful dental conditions do not show obvious signs of any problems. This does not mean that they are not feeling pain, but rather are not acting in a manner that we recognize as "painful".
Is it ever too late for dental care?
Sometimes owners think that their pet is “too old” or “too sick” for anesthesia and dentistry, but usually the benefits of relieving the infection and pain of oral disease far outweigh the risks of the procedure. Owners are often pleasantly surprised by the vitality their older pet can display after treatment for periodontal disease.
Who should clean my pet’s teeth?
When you go to the dentist, the hygienist cleans your teeth. Similarly, a trained veterinary staff member should clean your pet’s teeth. The veterinarian is responsible for examining the mouth and teeth, just like your dentist does. Only the veterinarian should extract teeth and perform other periodontal procedures on your pet. A groomer may brush your pet’s teeth, but only trained veterinary staff should clean your pet’s teeth.