Pets Teeth scale and polish
During your pets free teeth assessment, we may discover that they need a teeth scale and polish to get the teeth to a point where you can keep them clean at home. Tartar is like concrete so no amount of brushing, dental treats or dental diets are going to work for your pet at this stage. Attempting it would be like trying to remove tiles from around your pool with a butter knife. Not going to happen! Once tartar forms, a professional scale and polish at the practice is the only thing that is going to remove it.
What if my pet requires a teeth scale and polish?
The morning of the procedure
Your pet will need to have an empty stomach for the procedure so make sure that you remove any food after around 10pm the night before. Your pet can have access to water however right up until the time you bring him or her to the practice. We will make an appointment time for you to drop off you pet and you should allow around 15 minutes for the admission. During this time we will explain exactly what is going to happen throughout the day.
Receiving the anaesthetic
Soon after arrival, your pet will receive a physical exam and we will administer a sedative injection so they are is nice and relaxed. The sedative also means we do not have to use as much anaesthetic. When we are ready to perform the procedure, our nurse will bring out your pet from their bed and a catheter will be put into their vein. This catheter is then taped in and a bandage put on top so we have access to a vein at all times. While anaesthetics are very safe these days, we don’t take anything for granted and want to be ready should an emergency arise. Please note however that it is very uncommon to have anaesthetic problems.
Your pet will then receive their anaesthetic via the catheter which has already been placed. We use only the safest anaesthetics and would certainly never cut corners and use a less than superior drug! When your pet is under anaesthetic, Intravenous (IV) fluids will be administered via the catheter which will help keep their blood pressure high and help the kidneys filter out the drugs. Your pet will wake up feeling a lot better with IV fluids! We then intubate your pet so they can breathe gaseous anaesthetic to stay asleep, as well as oxygen. Our trained anaesthetic nurses take and record your pets vital stats manually at least every 5 minutes.
Safety under anaesthetic
The safety of your pet while under anaesthetic is our number one concern. That is why we strongly recommend a pre-anaesthetic blood test prior to your pets procedure. We can run this blood test on our in house machines so we can perform it the morning of the procedure and have the results within 10 minutes. This blood test, tests your pet’s kidney and liver enzymes, red and white blood cell count, glucose and total protein levels. Your pet’s kidney levels are what we are most concerned about. Pets will not show any signs of kidney failure until 75% of their kidneys are no longer functioning so this blood test will pick up changes prior to irreversible damage being done. We are unable to fully determine the health of the kidneys in a physical exam so a blood test is highly recommended.
We use two very vital pieces of monitoring equipment. One that beeps every time your pet takes a breath and one that beeps every time your pets heart beats. This machine also measures the percentage of oxgygen in your pets blood. These pieces of equipment plus our trained nurses performing manual checks make the anaesthetic very safe indeed. The Vet Lounge prides itself on offering a very high standard of anaesthetic safety.
Keeping your pet comfortable
During the procedure we use light but warm blankets to keep your pet warm and sometimes we use heating pads for smaller dogs. It takes anywhere from 1/2hr to more than 2 hours to clean your pet’s teeth, depending on how more much work needs to be done.
The equipment we use
All Vet Lounge practices use professional scalers and drills to clean the teeth. These scalers allow us to remove more bacteria without damaging the teeth and gums. The scalers we use are the same as what the human dentists use so you can imagine how gentle they are. They do a far superior job to hand instruments. If your pet requires extractions, our drills help us break down the teeth so they can then be removed easily in smaller pieces (this is especially helpful for large teeth). This again limits the trauma to the gumline. Your pet may require sutures for large teeth but the sutures will dissolve, which means they won’t need to be taken out at a later date.
After the procedure
At completion of the scale and polish, our surgical team will stay with your pet until they wake up. As they ‘come too’, the breathing tube is removed and they are placed in recovery. A pain relief injection is administered if your pet had teeth removed. When safe, your pet is transferred to our hospital recovery ward. We use Dry Bed as bedding which is similar to a lambs wool rug. It’s nice and thick so they can rest comfortably and feel warm. It also takes any moisture to the bottom should your pet accidentally let go of their bladder. This will ensure they stay dry at all times. We would certainly never use old towels and newspaper as bedding as is still common in a lot of other practices. Animals deserve more than this.
We’ll give you a call around 1/2 an hour after your pet has been transferred the recovery to let you know how the procedure went. We will then make an appointment time (if not already done) for you to come and collect your pet. Please allow around 15 minutes for your pet to be discharged. At this appointment we will let you know about any teeth that have been removed or teeth that we need to keep an eye on and discuss with you the best ways to keep your pets teeth clean from home.
Our nurses will call you 48 hours after the procedure to ensure that your pet is back to eating and drinking and behaving normally and to answer any further questions if you have any. We recommend you come back to the practice 6 months later to ensure their teeth are staying nice and clean!
The cost of a scale and polish
It will depend on your pet’s weight and how long it will take to perform the scale and polish, if removals are required and how many. During the free teeth assessment we will give your pet a grade from 1-4 which will give you a good estimate of the costs involved. Our staff are happy to provide a written estimate of costs.
We are very proud of our facilities and encourage you to come in for a behind the scenes tour. It will put your mind at ease when you see the effort we go to, to ensure your pet is comfortable whenever they visit us.