Dental Cleaning Procedure - What to Expect
All dental cleaning procedures are performed under general anesthesia. Here at Cat Care, we utilize Isoflurane, a gas inhalant anesthetic.
Pre-anesthetic blood work should be performed prior to anesthesia to ensure the patient's optimal health before anesthestizing.
How do we monitor our patients during the dental procedure?
Patients are monitored throughout the procedure by listening to their hearts and watching their breaths. While a licensed veterinary technician and veterinarian manually monitor the patient, we concurrently use a Pulse-oximeter. This is a monitoring machine that tells the technician the patient's heart rate, SPO2 (oxygen levels) and their breathing rate.
Body temperature is also monitored throughout the procedure. To help maintain body temperature, we utilize various sources of heat like electric heating pads, socks placed on the patient's extremities, self heating pads and hot water bottles. Sometimes we may even recover, or wake the patient up, in a heated cage.
What is involved in a dental cleaning procedure?
Dental procedures start with a general exam and charting of the teeth done by a Licensed Veterinary Technician. The technician looks for tartar, gingivitis, gum recession and any pockets or open spaces, around the gum line. The technician cleans the teeth using a high speed piezoelectric scaler, which vibrates to loosen and remove any plaque, tartar and staining from the teeth. The technicians also insert a dental probe along the gum line and alerts the veterinarian of any pockets found.
Once the licensed technician finishes cleaning the teeth, the veterinarian looks to see if there are any dental problems, such as Odonoclastic Resportive lesions, severe gum recession, fractures or mobile teeth. If any problems are present, a radiograph is taken so the veterinarian has a better idea about what processes are happening below the gum line.
The veterinarian performs any procedures to repair or remove indicated teeth.
After the veterinarian has finished repairing any dental problems, the licensed technician finishes the dental cleaning. This includes polishing the teeth to help smooth out the tooth surface, applying flouride for strength and to combat sensitivity, and applying a Ora-vet barrier sealant to help slow down tartar build-up.
We give all patients pain management prior to starting the dental procedure. However, patients who have had extensive dental work may need pain management after the cleaning and at home. The veterinarian will make this determination.
After being awakened from anesthesia and monitored by a Licensed Veterinary Technician, most cats are ready to go home early in the afternoon.
To help maintain optimal oral health, the veterinarians at Cat Care recommend home dental care for cats who will tolerate it. Brushing your cat's teeth, applying Ora-vet at home, dental treats and vitamin supplements for gingivitis are a few recommendations to help maintain oral health after a dental cleaning procedure, and hopefully, minimize the time in-between professional cleanings.
Call our office and speak to any of our Licensed Veterinary Technicians to discuss dental health with your cat.