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Dental Cleanings

Dental procedures for our pets can be confusing. This is mostly because we relate animal dentistry to the care that we receive from our own dentists. The most noticeable difference between human and animal dentistry is the need for general anesthesia in all procedures.

A routine dental prophylaxis (prophy or cleaning) is recommended annually for most pets and even twice per year for some pets. A prophy is performed to PREVENT dental disease. Unfortunately, most frequently when animals are presented for a prophy, dental disease is already present. Gingivitis, loose teeth, abscessed teeth and periodontal disease are common findings. The severity of these conditions cannot fully be assessed while the patient is awake as general anesthesia is required for a complete oral examination.

During your pet’s dental procedure we will remove all tartar from teeth above and below the gums (sub-gingival) using both ultrasonic and hand scaling tools. After the tartar is removed, we will use dental probes to determine if there are periodontal pockets, which indicate loss of attachment of gum and bone to the tooth. Dental radiographs may be obtained to determine if any disease exists below the gumline or to determine the severity of the periodontal disease. At the end of the procedure we will polish the teeth and apply fluoride to brighten and smooth tooth services. We will then flush and rinse the teeth with an anti-bacterial rinse.

Generally, fees for PREVENTATIVE small animal dentistry procedures range from $200-$400. Advanced disease may require additional procedures including, but not limited to additional dental x-rays, periodontal surgery or extractions and therefore incur additional costs.

Oral surgery, root canal therapy, restoratives and crown application may also require fees significantly higher than routine costs and can be arranged with our Veterinary Dental Specialist, Dr. Brook Niemiec, AVDC.

Some indications that your pet could benefit from a Professional Dental Cleaning:

  • Not eating or has become a “picky” eater
  • Has lost interest in chewing toys
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth or teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
  • Your pet shies away from you when you touch the mouth area
  • Drooling or dropping food from the mouth
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Loss of appetite or loss of weight

Not sure if your pet needs a Professional Dental Cleaning? Would you like to get an estimate? No problem! Call us at 559-436-4444 and we would be happy to schedule an appointment. Our staff will take a look at your pet’s mouth and give you the best estimate based on what is visible. We will make every effort to give you an accurate estimate, however once your pet is anesthetized, full oral examination and radiographs may reveal additional procedures and/or extractions are necessary.

Experience the savings on all dental packages during February and March, Call Today.

Basic Dental

Comprehensive Dental

Comprehensive Dental Plus

* Prices may increase due to your pet’s dental needs and the condition of pet’s teeth. Price increases include but are not limited to the following: extractions, additional recommended pre-anesthetic tests, other services not described above.

 

Q&A

Click the questions to read answers!

I have seen Anesthesia Free Dental Cleanings advertised at local pet stores, can I just do that instead?

Why Pet Medical Center and Spa never recommends “Anesthesia-free Dental Cleaning:”

  1. Risk to your pet – struggling against being held firmly can lead to damage to tongue, gums, lips and even eyes. Scraping moving teeth with metal is more likely to damage tooth enamel and lead to more rapid tartar accumulation in the future.
  2. It is illegal for anyone besides a DVM or trained, licensed veterinary technician under direct DVM supervision to practice dentistry. (This includes any application of metal instruments to dental tissues.)
  3. The most important parts of professional dental care are not possible without general anesthesia. Dental radiographs, thorough oral examination, extractions if needed, and cleaning under the gumline on an awake are impossible on an awake and potentially struggling pet.
  4. “Anesthesia-free dental cleaning” leads to a false impression that appropriate care has been provided and postpones professional diagnostics and therapy.
  5. The stressful experience can lead to “head shyness” and an even more difficult time appropriately brushing your pet’s teeth at home.

Fear of tooth loss and of general anesthesia are common reason people postpone appropriate professional dental care. We pursue every possible means of reducing the low risk of general anesthesia and utilize the safest anesthesia available. Modern anesthesia monitoring and appropriate support of the patient make these procedures as safe for your pet as they are for people. The considerable risk of attempting to scrape supra-gingival tartar without anesthesia are not warranted for the minimal benefit. And while losing teeth is disappointing, chronic untreated infection is a serious danger to your pet’s health.

 

Click here for a statement from the American College of Veterinary Dentistry on non-professional dental scaling.