The veterinarians at Carbondale Veterinary Clinic do dental cleanings and surgeries for your pets too!

On the day of your pet’s dental, you drop your pet off in the morning, generally between 8am and 9am, unless told otherwise. The night before surgery your pet should have had all food withheld after 10pm and no breakfast on the morning of surgery to help ensure an empty tummy. Our receptionist will then guide you to where your pet is going to stay until they are ready for surgery. Then you will go through and fill out our surgery/anesthesia form, which is linked below, if you would like to fill it out and bring it with you on the day of surgery.

Surgery and Anesthesia Release Form

Just like with other surgeries, a pre-procedure exam is done and any bloodwork you’ve approved is run. Any abnormalities found are discussed with you prior to sedation and anesthesia. If there are no questions, the doctor will proceed to sedate your pet and get them ready for the dental procedure. Your pet will be intubated with an endotracheal tube, a tube placed in the trachea, and hooked up to heart rate and respiratory rate monitors during the surgical procedure. Your pet is also being monitored during the procedure by a technician.

The dental includes a thorough cleaning with a dental scaler and followed by polishing. The scaler removes all the tartar and calculus on your pet’s teeth, leaving them clean. After the teeth are cleaned, they are polished to remove the small scratches and grooves that cleaning/scaling creates. This is similar to what is done at a human dentist.

All the teeth are checked for any problems, such as deep pockets, discoloring, being loose, not having enough of the gums covering them, etc. Any teeth that are infected, too loose, broken, or may cause your pet discomfort are extracted and the hole is sutured closed with dissolvable suture. Pets that have teeth taken out are then on a soft diet for the next week to help those extraction sites heal.

Those dentals that have extractions receive a recommended pain injection that lasts up to 24 hours after surgery. Surgery can be painful for your pet. It has been shown that humans recover better and faster if they are pain free. It is the same for our pets. We always recommend pain medicine go home with your pet to help with recovery.

After surgery, the veterinarian will call you to let you know how the surgery went and how recovery is going for your pet. If you have questions or have not heard yet, never hesitate to call. We don’t mind if you call to check on your pet later in the day either. We understand how stressful it can be and want to be available for you and your pet.

To help keep your pet’s teeth clean after their dental, we recommend brushing their teeth with a soft toothbrush and a pet-friendly toothpaste. Below is a website that can help guide you through the process of introducing toothbrushing to your pet, even though the tutorial is for cats it can be applied to dogs too!

If you’re not able to brush your pet’s teeth, use treats for helping keep the tartar controlled. Those treats with the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal on them are the best. Remember though, that treats will not keep the tartar off your pet’s teeth, it will only help it not build up as fast. A list of those products approved by the VOHC can be found at the webpage below, as can a lot of helpful information about dental disease in your pets.