Dental scaling is a fundamental aspect of comprehensive pet care, ensuring that our beloved companions enjoy a life free from dental ailments.
While maintaining excellent oral hygiene through regular at-home care is crucial, scheduling routine dental scaling sessions is equally vital for preventing dental diseases and preserving your pet’s overall health.
Why is it important?
Dental scaling is the process of removing build up of plaque and tartar from your pet’s teeth using an ultrasonic dental scaler.
Plaque: Dental plaque is a soft, sticky film that accumulates on the teeth throughout the day.
Tartar: When plaque accumulation persists, it begins to harden and ultimately turns into Tartar.
Plaque and tartar build up is the ideal environment for harmful bacteria that produces acids and toxins that damage the tissue around the teeth. This causes gingivitis and if left untreated, becomes periodontitis.
What happens when I bring my pet in for Dental Scaling?
First, a thorough physical examination of your pet’s mouth is conducted to determine if they actually need an appointment for scaling. (Remember, we never want to put your pet under anaesthesia unnecessarily).
If it is determined that dental scaling is necessary, we may elect to run some bloodwork to ensure it is safe to put your pet under general anaesthesia. (This usually entails a basic liver and kidney function test)
If everything looks good, we will go ahead and prepare your pet for the dental scaling process.
What does the process entail?
Using an ultrasonic dental scaler, we remove the visible plaque above the gum line and then using hand scalers and other tools to scrape away the plaque below the gums.
We will then clean out any periodontal pockets where bits of food and bacteria may hide. This is then followed by teeth polishing. (This polish makes it harder for plaque to adhere to the surface of the teeth in the future)
If your pet does have periodontitis, we may apply antimicrobial rinses and prescribe antibiotics or other medication.
During this time, we also look out for and note any abnormalities in the mouth.
What does aftercare look like?
Even if your pet did not have any tooth extractions done, he or she will probably have a sore mouth for the next 2-3 days.
If extractions were performed during the dental scaling, the soreness may persist for 4-5 days.
You can feed your dog/cat a small meal once they get back home (about ½ of normal amount) with the usual amount of water, and resume their usual feeding amount/regimen the next day.
If your pet had significant periodontal disease, we may send you home with some oral antibiotics and painkillers.
Be sure to look out for any blood coming from the mouth or any signs of persistent pain and discomfort and contact us immediately.
Unless you have a dog that needs more regular oral hygiene care it is essential your dog go to a vet for proper scaling and polishing roughly once a year. Maintaining dental health is not just about avoiding yellow teeth and bad breath but also about protecting them against long term, debilitating health conditions. This ensures our furry friends enjoy a pain-free, smile-filled life.