Professional Dental Therapy

Baxter Animal Hospitals’ veterinary technicians will perform the dental procedure. This is similar to the dental examination your dentist provides for you. However, your pet will need to be fully anesthetized to enable us to perform the exam.

Your pet will be admitted into the hospital in the morning, the veterinarian will examine your pet and blood samples will be collected to perform pre-anesthetic blood tests. These tests include a complete blood count and chemistries which determine the function of organs such as kidneys and liver. The pre-anesthetic testing can also be used as a baseline for referencing and interpreting future blood work.

Once your pet is anesthetized, your pet’s mouth will be assessed and abnormalities such as fractures, periodontal pockets and missing teeth will be documented. The abnormalities are brought to the attention of the veterinarian, who will decide on the treatment plan. The plaque and tartar are then removed from the crowns as well as from under the gum line. Once the cleaning is complete the teeth are polished. Dental therapy can be a long procedure. For example, a mild case can take 2 hours to complete and a more severe case can take up to 3-4 hours. For this reason, your pet will be placed on IV fluids to ensure acceptable blood pressures.

Pain control is also very important to us. We want your pet to be comfortable upon recovery from anesthesia. If any extractions are required, injections to control the pain will be administered as well as local anesthesia (freezing) which lasts 6 – 8 hours. Once the procedure is complete, your pet will continue to receive IV fluids and be monitored for the remainder of the day. Oral pain medication may also be dispensed to ensure comfort during their recovery at home. Our patient will be discharged with home care instructions in the afternoon and will return in 2 weeks for a complimentary follow-up appointment.

Written by: France, RVT