Pet Dental Cleanings and Oral Care/Extractions
Palisades Veterinary Clinic proudly take the proper approach to Comprehensive Oral Health Assessments and Treatments (COHAT):
- A thorough patient history and signalment are obtained, including an assessment of home care and chewing habits.
- A thorough general physical examination and complete awake oral examination are performed.
- Preanesthetic diagnostic tests, including a complete blood count, a serum chemistry profile and a urinalysis, are performed. Other tests may be required based on a pet’s health status and age.
- A preanesthetic and analgesic plan is determined. Special consideration should be given to patients with chronic dental pain. Common practice includes continuous-rate infusion (CRI) loading doses of an opioid and ketamine with or without lidocaine, followed by an intravenous CRI of all three drugs before, during and after the procedure.
- Preanesthetic agents are administered and anesthesia is induced along with the placement of an endotracheal tube and maintenance of anesthesia with an anesthetic gas.
- The three members of the dentistry team—the doctor, the dental technician and an anesthesia technician—constantly monitor the patient.
- The patient is comprehensively monitored—blood oxygen saturation, end-tidal carbon dioxide, electrocardiography, respiration monitors, blood pressure and temperature.
- External warming is instituted with Bair Huggers (Arizant Healthcare), warm-water circulated blankets and warmed fluids.
- The patient undergoes a complete intraoral assessment with visual assessment, including entire-mouth digital dental radiography, periodontal probing and charting. The most important among these is dental radiography.
- Complete scaling and polishing is performed above and below the gum line. Below the gum line is paramount and cannot be performed without anesthesia.
- A treatment plan is formulated based on what is detected during intraoral assessment and is communicated to the pet parent by phone.
- If surgical treatment is needed, oral nerve blocks are administered to allow the patient to stay very light under anesthesia and allow it to wake up and remain pain-free for up to six to 10 hours postoperatively.
- A veterinarian well-skilled in oral surgery and dental radiographic interpretation performs treatment, assisted by a dental technician, while the patient is monitored by the anesthesia technician to ensure timely progression through the procedure, minimizing anesthesia time. Periodontal flap-based surgical extractions are the most common procedures, allowing all diseased tissue and bone to be removed and sutured over the extraction site. Tooth extraction without gum flaps does little to nothing to benefit the patient if all of the disease surrounding the tooth is left. Other procedures may be recommended to save teeth by using advanced guided tissue regeneration techniques and endodontic and restorative therapy.
- Upon completion of the procedure, the patient’s oral cavity is thoroughly flushed, followed by a quick and uneventful recovery. Preanesthetic medications and analgesics combined with nerve blocks aid in a rapid recovery by allowing the patient to stay at near waking levels during the procedure. Pet parents are called to inform them that the pet is comfortable once awake.
- Postoperative medications and instructions, home care, contact numbers and recheck information are discussed thoroughly at the discharge appointment.
Our clinic offers in-house dental prophylaxis procedures to clean your pet’s teeth. We scale and polish your pet’s teeth in order to remove plaque and tartar (even under the gumline) safely and completely. We use a digital dental x-ray system and state of the art high-speed dental drill for use in extracting teeth, when necessary.
Dental procedures are performed under general anesthesia in order to accomplish thorough removal of the tartar under the gumline, and fluoride treatment. All extractions involve prevention of pain and infection by our staff: local anesthetic nerve blocks, pre- and post-operative injectable pain medications, and close monitoring for any signs of oral pain are standard of care for dental surgery at our clinic.