651-224-3038   •   1140 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105

My pet needs a dental cleaning?

February 16, 2016

Your veterinarian has recommended a dental cleaning for your pet. What does that mean? What happens all day? Well, wonder no more. Here is what a typical day looks like for your beloved pet. Watch as we follow our Greyhound patient, Waffle, through his day at our clinic.

1. The first and very important step is the “check in” with the certified veterinary technician the morning of the procedure. Important information is obtained such as Waffle’s current medications, has Waffle been fasted, are you able to do any home dental care, and of course any concerns you may have. You then leave for the day and your pet is taken to our dental hospitalization area.

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2. A kennel is prepared for your pet with a blanket and a warming disc and a name label on the door. Other team members will place an IV catheter in Waffle’s front leg. Blood work is done if it hasn’t been done previously. The veterinarian in charge of the dental procedure will do an exam prior to anesthesia at this time. Medications are given to help relax Waffle.

3. We are now ready to begin the actual procedure! Waffle is brought into the dental suite and anesthesia is started. A tube is placed down his throat to protect his airway and keep him asleep with gas anesthesia. Monitoring equipment is in place to monitor heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels. IV fluids are run during the entire procedure.

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4. The teeth are cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler which takes the tartar off the teeth very efficiently. The area below the gum is also cleaned with the scaler since this is where periodontal disease can really get started. Hand instruments are then used to make sure all of the tartar is removed from the teeth. The teeth are polished after they are cleaned.

5. The veterinarian and technician together examine and chart the teeth. Dental x-rays may be taken if areas of concern are noted such as deep pockets or loose teeth. Decisions also may be made if any teeth need to be extracted based on the exam and x-rays.


6. The veterinarian performs any needed extractions after the area of the mouth has been numbed with a nerve block. X-rays may be taken again to ensure that the root has been fully extracted. Sutures may be placed.


7. Final details such as trimming nails and giving pain medications if needed are done. Waffle is woken up and kept warm. When he is fully awake food is offered and he is taken outside for a short walk. The veterinarian will provide a phone update.


8. Finally you arrive to pick up your precious one. The technician will go through discharge instructions, discuss home dental care and answer any questions you may have. Waffle was a great patient!


Chris Morris, CVT

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