Hospital Services

What to Expect the Day of Surgery | What to Expect the Day of Dental Cleaning

cleaning pets teeth at el vet clinicWhat to Expect the Morning of Your Pet’s Dental Cleaning

The night before your pet’s dental appointment, we will ask you to withhold food after 9:00 pm (they can still have water). The morning of the dental a doctor will examine your pet and admit him/her for the dental. You will be requested to sign a consent form giving us permission to perform the dentistry as well as choosing optional full mouth dental x-rays that allow us to assess your pet’s teeth and root structure and optional blood work for younger animals (older pets will be required to have blood work done first). Blood work allows us to assess kidney and liver function and the ability of your pet to handle the anesthetic. At this point the technician will draw blood from your pet and run the sample in our lab.

After the doctor has reviewed the blood work and made sure everything is normal, the technician will administer a premedication to your pet. This is a combination of drugs to start to help your pet relax and an initial pain medication. Once your pet is relaxed, we administer a fast acting induction agent to put them to sleep quickly, we intubate them (put a tube in their airway) and connect them to a gas anesthetic and oxygen. The technician then attaches them to an EKG (to measure heart activity), a pulse oximeter (to measure oxygen in the blood) and a blood pressure monitor. We use this monitoring equipment to make sure your pet is responding to the anesthesia appropriately.

At this time the technician will begin the dental procedure. She will take the dental x-rays first and an assistant will develop them while she begins cleaning the teeth. She will use an ultrasonic scaler to get most of the tartar off and a subgingival scaler to clean the teeth below the gum line. Once the teeth are clean she will probe and chart the teeth to find any problem areas (bad teeth or deep pockets in the gum tissue) and note these in your pet’s record. The doctor will then examine the x-rays and the mouth and determine if any extractions need to be done. The final step is for the teeth to be polished (the same as when your dentist polishes your teeth) and a fluoride treatment applied. During this procedure, the doctor stays with your pet watching the equipment as well as checking your pet’s pulse, watching their breathing pattern and assessing their mucous membrane color, all to be sure the monitoring equipment is working correctly.

Once the dental is completed, the technician will recover your pet from anesthesia. We keep these pets in cages that are in our treatment area so that we can monitor them carefully while they are recovering from anesthesia. If they had extractions, they will be given additional pain medication during the day and will be sent home that day on additional pain medication. The technician will discharge your pet and go over any problems with the teeth and what you will need to do at home to decrease the build-up of tartar.


East Lansing Veterinary Clinic

1880 Haslett Rd. Suite A, East Lansing, MI 48823 | 517-351-8417