The first step is a complete physical examination. This gives us an idea of general, overall health. If we are able to do an oral exam we will, but a thorough oral exam can only be done under anesthesia. Depending on the age of the animal, pre-anesthetic blood work may be required to check organ function and for signs of disease.
The day of the procedure the pet is examined again to make sure nothing has changed. An intravenous catheter is placed and intravenous fluids are administered. An anesthetic protocol is selected which is most appropriate for the pet and its current health status. Once anesthetized with injectable anesthesia an endotracheal tube is placed is placed to protect the respiratory system from the water used in the procedure. All dogs are placed on inhaled anesthesia. Cats may be placed on inhaled anesthesia depending on their health status.
Finally we can get to the teeth. They are cleaned both manually and with an ultrasonic cleaner just like at your own dentist. Once they are cleaned each tooth is examined individually for fractures, wear, loss of gum, loss of bony support and cavity like holes. If there are any problems dental xrays will be taken to further indentify the extent of the damage. At this point a decision will need to be made if it is best to leave the tooth in place and attempt treatment of the problem or remove the tooth. If teeth are removed, pain relievers and antibiotics may be administered. After any problems with the teeth are dealt with, the teeth are polished and the animal is removed from the anesthesia. Your pet’s recovery is monitored by a technician until it is awake. Once the animal is awake it can be sent home. It may go home with antibiotics and pain relievers for you to administer at home.