When dental disease is found on a physical examination, a common recommendation is to perform a “dental” on your pet. This may just mean a simple cleaning, more extensive periodontal therapy, or in some cases extractions may be needed. Normally, after an examination is performed, the need for dental therapy is discussed. If the decision is made to move forward with therapy, pre-anesthetic blood testing would be done at this point, and a treatment plan would be discussed. If there is no contraindication for the procedure to be done, a date will be set to perform the dental treatment.
You will have been given instructions to not feed your pet for at least 12 hours prior to admission for the dental treatment, as anesthesia is needed. Once admitted, pre-anesthetic medications are given to both relieve anxiety and aid in pain relief. An intravenous catheter is placed to give the anesthetic and administer fluids during the procedure. (Please see the section on anesthesia for more details)
Once anesthesia is induced, the dental procedure is performed. At the completion of the procedure the surgical technician will stay with your pet until he/she is fully recovered. Dr. Michael will then call you to discuss the procedure and any aftercare that might be needed.
It is important to note that while a treatment plan is made initially at the examination, an exact treatment plan cannot be made until your pet is under anesthesia. This is because each tooth needs to be examined and probed individually, and this is virtually impossible in an awake animal. Most times we are accurate in our initial assessment, but you will be asked to be available to the phone during the dental, so if a change needs to be made Dr. Michael can discuss that with you at that time.