What is dental cleaning without anesthesia?

Our cleaning procedure involves manual scaling (both above and below gum line) and polishing of facial and lingual surfaces of the teeth. Animals are fully awake during the process and lie in our lap while we work. All cleanings are done under the supervision of a licensed vet to ensure that every pet receives appropriate care.

How long will the cleaning take?

Dental cleanings for dogs generally take about 45 minutes. Cleanings for cats generally take about 20 minutes. Depending on the clinic you go to, you may need to leave your pet for a period of time up to 1.5 hours. 

What kind of tools are used and how are they cleaned?

We use the same type of manual scalers and curettes that are used for human dental cleanings. All of our scaling instruments are sterilized in an autoclave prior to each use. Every cleaning procedure is done with a sterile set of tools which has been individually packaged after sterilization.

What if my pet resists?

It is common for some pets to squirm a bit initially but they typically settle down and tolerate the cleaning better than most people expect. However, this is not always the case and if your pet exhibits undue stress, we will immediately stop the cleaning. 

Is this type of cleaning right for my pet?

Sometimes dental cleaning without anesthesia is not an appropriate treatment. While many cats and dogs can benefit from this procedure at some point in their lives, there are real limitations to what we can do. During the evaluation process, we look for oral health issues (such as periodontal disease or fractured teeth) that may necessitate a cleaning under anesthesia. If we cannot help your pet at this time, we explain why it's not appropriate, help you to understand your pet's condition as well as what to expect in the future, and provide information on what you can do to improve outcomes for your pet. 

Why does my pet need a dental exam before each cleaning?

Because the condition of your pet's mouth could change dramatically between cleanings, we require that your pet have a dental exam before every cleaning. At our low-cost locations, the exam must be done on a separate day from the cleaning, as this allows us to avoid setting aside appointments for pets we are unable to do, thus ensuring that we can continue to provide affordable care to as many animals as possible.

How are Pettooth services different?

We make it a priority to educate you about your pet's oral health and to help you formulate a clear long-term plan for your pet's dental care. Dental cleaning without anesthesia is only appropriate for about half of the pets we evaluate, so we are honest about what we find and what you can do to improve your pet's oral health. You are always welcome to be present for the cleanings, and we will teach you how to continue care at home.  

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