Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Will my pet cooperate?

A: Most pets cooperate extremely well. The practitioner is trained in handling the pet and is able to calm them while cleaning their teeth. We use Bachflowers, aromatherapy and acupressure points to help calm your pet. We take our time and introduce your pet to the teeth cleaning procedure.

Q: How can you effectively perform cleaning on a dog or cat while it is squirming around and under stress?

A: We sit at eye level with the pet and use a variety of proprietary holding methods to maintain control while keeping our patient calm and comfortable. Pets are never forced or bullied into submission. Most vets are totally amazed at how compliant dogs and cats become during the procedure.

Q: How often should I come in?

A: It depends on the breed and the buildup on the teeth. It is usually recommended at least every 6 months to a year. Smaller dogs may even need their teeth cleaned every 3 months, while some larger dogs may need them done once per year. We recommend as soon as you start seeing buildup again to have them re-cleaned. Leaving large amounts of bacteria in your pet’s mouth can lead to other health issues.

Q: Can I watch the procedure?

A: You can stay and watch, but usually your pet behaves better when you are out of their visual sight.

        

Q: How do you perform the procedure?

A: Your pet lies on a dog bed with their head in our lap. With small dogs, we wrap them in a towel to make them feel more secure. We use an ultrasonic scalar to remove heavy buildup and hand-scale their teeth with scaling instruments, just like when you go to your practitioner. The teeth are cleaned inside and out, removing the tartar buildup. When we are finished scaling, we polish the teeth. You receive a report card telling you what we were able to see during the teeth cleaning.

Q: What if you find a really bad dental problem?

A: When we look in your pet’s mouth, if we immediately find problems requiring your veterinarian’s attention (example: teeth that need to be extracted), we will refer you back to your veterinarian to have a dental teeth cleaning under anesthesia, and there will be no charge. Also, if during the teeth cleaning we find any problems, we will put the information on your report card so that you can discuss any further action with your own veterinarian.

Q: Don't most pets become frightened and panic when you attempt to use an ultrasonic scaler or a motorized polisher?

A: We treat our patients much like a dentist treats a young child during a first-time teeth-cleaning visit. We use patience in our approach, and slowly introduce each phase of the procedure. As we build trust, almost every dog and cat we treat will allow us to use all of the exact same tools used in traditional veterinary dentistry.

Q: How do you perform the procedure on cats?

A: The procedure in doing anesthesia-free teeth cleaning for a cat is almost the same as for a dog. However, instead of wrapping a cat in a towel, we wrap them in a cat bag. This is to ensure their safety and ours. Usually this procedure will only take 30 minutes, and just like with dogs, we discourage owners from being in the room.

Q: Do you use sterile tools?

A: Yes, we sterilize all our tools, and we use a different scaler on every animal.

        

Q: How effective is this method?

A: There are circumstances where we might not be able to remove all the tartar, such as:

 * Deep Pockets

 * Root Exposure

 * Excessive Wiggling

We do not pull teeth, and we do not take X-Rays, so we can never see what is going on under the gum line.

Q: Can your practitioner perform a cleaning on every dog?

A: No, while we can clean the vast majority of dogs and cats, there are some for whom it is not appropriate. Examples would be pets with severe gingivitis, caries, fractured teeth, abscesses, stomatitis, tumors, and so on.

Whenever our practitioners discover loose or fractured teeth, tumors, gum disease, or any other condition that needs your veterinarian’s intervention, they will write the information down for you so that you can bring it to your veterinarian’s attention.

Q: Can you use this method on older patients and high-risk patients?

A: Yes, anesthesia-free teeth cleaning can be done on older pets and pets with chronic kidney, liver or heart disease that might not be a good candidate for a dental procedure under anesthesia.

Q: Does eating dry dog food clean your pet’s teeth?

A: No‚ this is a myth. In general, a dog needs to spend time chewing to clean the teeth. Examples of this would be raw, meaty bones, and bully sticks.

Every effort will be made to remove the tartar from your pet’s teeth.

However, they are awake, and it may be impossible to remove all of the tartar.

Q: How can I tell if my pet’s teeth need cleaning?

A: Look for a yellow or brown buildup on the tooth surface and areas of inflammation around the gum line. Bad breath is often the first indicator of poor dental hygiene.

Q: How often should I clean my pet’s teeth?

A: The average pet over 2 years old should have professional teeth cleaning every 3 to 6 months. The frequency of teeth cleanings depends on diet, age, health, breed and home care.