Dental Procedure Information

Pre-Anesthetic Blood Testing:

We tailor anesthetic drugs and dosages to your pet’s age, size, breed, and pre-existing disease conditions. To minimize risk, it is important to run blood work before your pet undergoes any anesthetic procedure.

*We highly recommend pre-anesthetic testing for all pets, regardless of their age. Pre-anesthetic testing may be required for all pets 6 years of age and older.

  • Pre-anesthetic blood tests may be performed from 30 days prior and up to the morning of the procedure, unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian.
  • Pre-anesthetic tests help us understand whether your pet’s vital organs are functioning properly; your pet’s liver and kidneys are responsible for metabolizing anesthetic drugs.
  • Testing can also aid in detecting hidden or undetected health problems. Even if your pet is young and healthy, performing bloodwork periodically helps establish ‘normal’ values for your pet, which can be helpful in the future.
  • If any discrepancies are found, a doctor will call you to inform you and we will and proceed accordingly.

Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment (COHAT)

During the dental procedure, your pet’s oral cavity (lips, tongue, jaw, hard palate, soft palate and teeth) will be fully evaluated by a veterinarian. The teeth will be scaled above and below the gum line using a piezo scaler and polished by a trained technician. Dental radiographs may be taken and then evaluated by your veterinarian. Any diseased teeth may then be extracted.

Dental Radiographs

Most dental disease occurs below the gum line where you can’t see it without the use of radiographs. We highly recommend full mouth radiographs for all pets in order to fully evaluate the health of their jaw and tooth roots below the gum line. Radiographs allow the doctor to better determine the health and structure of each tooth and can confirm the necessity for extraction of a tooth that may be loose, damaged, or severely diseased. Complicated or surgical extractions require the use of dental radiographs.

Dental Extractions

It is impossible to predict how many teeth may need to be extracted when your pet is awake because calculus and movement interfere with the assessment. Severely diseased teeth can cause considerable pain and discomfort and are a source of infections for other organs systems (liver, kidney, lungs, and heart). During the dental procedure, a comprehensive oral health assessment is performed. If teeth are found to be severely diseased or too damaged to treat medically, they may require extraction. If your pet does have teeth extracted, it is recommended that you feed only soft food for at least 10 days after the dental procedure, unless otherwise instructed. Absolutely no bones, chews, or other hard substances should be offered while the mouth is healing as this can break open sutures. If sutures are placed in the mouth, they will dissolve over time. A brief dental re-check is recommended 10 days after any extraction to evaluate healing of the extraction site.

Pain Management Options

All patients receive pain medication to cover the period of time for oral surgery or extraction. Additional post-surgical pain medication is recommended to help control the discomfort after oral surgery or extraction and aid in recovery. *Post-surgical pain medication and local nerve (lidocaine) blocks are mandatory for all pets undergoing major oral surgical or extraction procedures and will be presented on your pet’s surgery estimate. Please note, it can be normal for your pet to drool for a short time while recovering with local nerve blocks.

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