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Dentistry

  • Dentistry photo
  • 1. Within 30 days before a dental procedure (or any anesthetic procedure), lab work is required to ensure that your pet is healthy enough for the procedure and will be able to tolerate the necessary anesthesia and medications. The anesthesia ensures that we can do a complete job of safely and effectively scaling away dental disease above and below the gum line.
    Dentistry photo
  • 2. The day of the procedure, the doctor will perform a pre-procedure examination. Next, we administer an injection to minimize stress, prevent pain and promote sedation. The medications are chosen specifically for your pet. This sedation also decreases the amount of anesthesia necessary and helps smooth the recovery. 
    Dentistry photo
  • 3. Every anesthetic patient receives an intravenous (IV) catheter. The IV catheter and fluids during the procedure help maintain blood pressure and hydration in the patient during anesthesia. The iV catheter also allows direct vein access in the rare case that an emergency situation arises.  The IV catheter enhances your pet's safety during anesthesia! 
    Dentistry photo
  • 4. On the day of your pet's procedure, a technician will meet you to answer any questions or concerns you may have. They will go over the plan for the day and have you sign some paperwork. At this time, we will get a contact number for you. This is very important and allows us to update you on your pet's progress and contact you if we find some concerning teeth that we were not anticipating. If you would like a photo of your pet during recovery we are happy to text message you a photo. 
    Dentistry photo
  • 5. We first administer an anesthetic agent into the IV catheter.  Our anesthetics are the same used in human medicine. This allows us to pass an endotracheal tube (breathing tube) in the trachea (wind pipe). This is very important because it protects the airway from oral bacteria and ensures your pet has proper anesthesia and oxygen.
    Dentistry photo
  • 6. We then administer a combination of oxygen and a gas anesthetic (isoflurane) via the endotracheal tube. Proper precautions are necessary to maintain your pet's body temperature. We use a Bairhugger (a warming unit specifically designed to distribute warm air over an anesthetized patient) or other device to maintain warmth during the procedure.  We warm the intravenous fluids).
    Dentistry photo
  • 7. We take anesthesia very seriously. A dedicated and trained veterinary technician monitor your pet throughout the duration of the procedure and their recovery.
    Dentistry photo
  • 8. We closely monitor every patient's ECG (heart rhythm/rate), blood pressure, respiration rate, oxygen saturation, temperature, anesthetic depth and expired carbon dioxide.  Although this may seem like a lot of equipment, your pet's safety and comfort are our top priority!
    Dentistry photo
  • 9. We take radiographs (x-rays) of the teeth in many cases. The machine is very similar to what you may find in your own dentist's office. All of our dental radiographs are digital which allows the doctor to review them immediately. These radiographs often provide the evidence needed to make the important decision of whether or not to extract a tooth. 
    Dentistry photo
  • 10. The doctor will always perform a complete oral examination while your pet is under anesthesia. They will check for conditions such as loose teeth, missing teeth, extra teeth or deep pocketing. In addition, they will look for other concerns in the oral cavity such as the presence of an oral mass. 
    Dentistry photo
  • 11. The dental instruments are very similar to those used in humans. We will carefully scale above and below the gum line and on all the surfaces of the teeth. It is imperative to scale below the gum line, as this is where most of the disease lies. The anesthesia ensure that we can do a complete job of safely and effectively scaling away this disease. If not completely treated, the remaining dental disease can lead to further health problems and progressive periodontal disease. After the technician has completed scaling, the veterinarian will check the results and perform any additional procedures. 
    Dentistry photo
  • 12. After scaling is complete, we polish the teeth. This helps smooth the surface of the teeth and prevents plaque from accumulating.  Your pet will receive a complimentary nail trim during the procedure.
    Dentistry photo
  • 13. We make your pet's recovery process as smooth and comfortable as possible. A dedicated technician closely monitor your recovering pet after the procedure. We continue intravenous fluids through recovery to help metabolize the anesthesia and speed recovery. The IV catheter is removed once your pet has completely recovered.
    Dentistry photo
  • 14. When your pet is ready to be discharged we will review your pet's treatments with you. We will go over home care instructions, prescriptions,and detailed information on the dental work we performed. We will also provide before and after photos of your pet's mouth. Once all of your questions and concerns have been answered, we will reunite you with your pet and their new and improved sparkling teeth! 
    Dentistry photo
  • Dentistry photo

We believe that preventative care is the best approach for long term oral health. Our hospital provides extensive dental services including digital dental radiographs, prophylactic and periodontal treatments, extractions and oral surgery.

Dental care is a very important part of your pets overall health.  If left untreated, gum disease can lead to serious disease of the heart, kidneys and liver. Studies have shown that 8 out of 10 dogs and 7 out of 10 cats show signs of gum disease by the age of three.  The good news is that most dental diseases can be prevented and controlled.  Dogs and cats over the age of one should have routine dental check-ups. Good preventive oral care is an important part of protecting your pet’s overall health.

We know there are a wide variety of products available and recommend the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) as a resource for which treats and foods have been studied and shown to be effective at preventing dental disease.  http://vohc.org/accepted_products.htm

For more information, download this PDF describing the best way to brush your dog’s teeth.

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Voted Best of the Bay Runner Up - 2013