9 Steps of a Healthy Pet Dental Cleaning

chi x2 toothbrushes

1. Patient History Form

We want to know all about your pet. Our patient history form allows you to tell us about your pet’s previous surgeries or injuries, history of seizures, heart conditions and any other medical issues they may have. This step begins the comfortable and personalised experience for our patient.

2. Complete Oral Exam

We complete a thorough examination of each tooth and all other areas of the mouth to ensure there are no abnormalities that would be better addressed through a general anaesthetic dental. Our dental nurses will check for obvious signs of loose teeth, complicated gingivitis, areas tender to the touch and any growths. We also check for symmetry to help rule out signs of an abscess and any other dental problem.
If abnormalities are found, your veterinarian will be notified and it will then be decided by you and your vet if your pet needs a general anaesthetic dental. At Healthy Pet Dentals, we are advocates for general anaesthetic dentals and believe it is important to maintain routine general anaesthetic cleanings and x-rays to find any issues not seen on oral exams.

3. Mouthwash

After completing the oral exam, we begin our cleaning steps. Step 3 begins with rinsing the patient’s teeth and gums with a soothing, refreshing and tasty anti-bacterial solution. This will aid in reducing airborne bacteria during the scaling process and helps provide temporary relief of minor gum irritation.

4. Scaling

We begin this step by removing tartar and plaque from all tooth surfaces. We take extra care to remove tartar and plaque from both the inside and outside of each tooth, as well as in between teeth. We always follow our tools with a tissue, or gauze, to catch debris as it’s removed from the teeth.

5. Probing for abnormal pocket depths around each tooth

During this step, our veterinary nurses will use a special instrument to gently and accurately check pocket depth around each tooth. All abnormal (deep) pocket depths are noted on the patient’s chart so we can better track their dental health. We then flush abnormal pockets with a minty anti-bacterial rinse to remove any remaining bacteria, debris or food, and promote healing.

6. Polishing

Our veterinary nurses use a quiet motorized polishing unit to help smooth out the enamel from any imperfections. We use a vibrating polishing tip to guarantee the patient’s muzzle hair won’t tangle during this step. The course grit, mint flavoured prophy paste we use is specifically designed for our polishing tips to ensure teeth obtain maximum smoothness.

7. Irrigation

As we near the end of our anaesthesia-free teeth cleaning, we like to rinse the teeth and gums once more with a minty anti-bacterial rinse. This rinse helps to eliminate any residual plaque or bacteria that may be left behind after the scaling process, and promotes the resolution of inflammation and gingivitis.

8. Charting

During this step, we complete our notes on all abnormalities found during the exam and dental cleaning. This detailed record will help track progression or regression of a pet’s oral health.

**Please note that not all underlying dental health problems can be seen on an oral exam, whether the pet is anaesthetised or not. It is very important to talk with your veterinarian about the appropriate time to schedule your pet for general anaesthetic dentals and dental x-rays. Studies show that dental x-rays revealed that 27.8% of dogs and 41.7% of cats were found to have underlying dental issues where no abnormal findings were found on oral exam by a veterinarian.

9. Client Care

Upon completion of steps 1-8, we like to take this time to review our findings with you, the pet owner. This important step allows us to explain the importance of home dental care to maintain your pet’s healthy mouth in between vet visits. We are happy to show you teeth brushing techniques, how to administer the oral rinse or discuss any questions you have in regards to our service, or your pet’s dental health.