What To Expect At a Professional Pet Dental Exam

Brushing dogs teethLast month, we covered the importance of pet dental health and how it can aid in your pet’s overall health and longevity. In honor of National Pet Dental Health Month, starting February 1, we’d like to take a look professional dental care for your pet and it’s role as a key player in your pet’s wellness plan.

What Happens Next?

If your veterinarian has recommended a professional cleaning and exam for your pet, it’s because he or she is likely one of the large numbers of dogs and cats showing signs of periodontal disease. A comprehensive cleaning and exam is needed to get your pet’s mouth back to a state of health and to prevent further medical problems from cropping up down the road.

Fortunately, you won’t have to go far to meet your pet’s dental needs. We offer top quality professional dental services here at Wellesley-Natick Veterinary Hospital, so you can rest assured that your best pal will be taken care of by the veterinarians that you already know and trust.

Will My Pet Be Under Sedation?

Anesthesia-free dental cleanings are “a thing” these days, but the American Veterinary Dental College does not recommend dental cleanings for pets without sedation, and neither do we.

Sedation is a safe and necessary component of a dental cleaning and exam for pets. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to thoroughly clean the teeth and perform a comprehensive examination of your pet’s mouth. Besides, would you want to undergo dental work without anesthesia? We didn’t think so.

What Happens During A Veterinary Dental Cleaning?

Before the cleaning and exam begins, we will make sure to gather a thorough health and dental history of your pet, as well as perform an oral examination while your pet is awake. Knowing your pet’s lifestyle and overall wellness will help us to make recommendations for home care or follow up treatments.

After your pet has been examined, his or her blood will be drawn. This helps us to identify any potential problems that we will need to be aware of and lets us know if your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia.

After your pet has been anesthetized, we will perform the following procedures:

  • A complete oral exam along with X-rays will determine if there are problems underneath the gumline, such as broken teeth or roots, abscesses, or infected teeth.
  • Scaling of the teeth under the gum line using hand and ultrasonic dental scalers to remove the bacteria that causes periodontal disease.
  • Scaling the visible tooth surfaces removes the plaque and tartar that has built up over time. The teeth are then polished smooth to discourage bacterial colonization.
  • If we find any problems or feel that an additional procedure will need to be done, such as a tooth extraction, we will call you right away.


The recovery time after a dental cleaning is minimal. Under normal circumstances, you may pick your pet up and take him or her home following the procedure. Your veterinarian will provide you with a report of all findings along with recommendations for daily home care for your specific pet in between cleanings.

Give us a call with any questions or concerns you may have regarding comprehensive pet dental care. We look forward to seeing you and your pet soon!