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What is a dental cleaning?

A dental cleaning for you dog or cat is the same as when you go to the dentist.  Dental x-rays are taken, each tooth is then scaled to remove plaque and tartar, and then polished.

 

Why does my pet need a dental cleaning?

Dental disease is one of the most common conditions seen by veterinarians.  It occurs when bacteria in the mouth travels below the gum line, resulting in infection, pain and eventually tooth loss.  This bacteria can also spread through the blood stream to other organs such as the kidneys, liver, and even the heart.  

 

How can I tell if my dog needs his teeth cleaned?

Bad breath is the most common sign that owners will notice.  Besides bad breath, most dogs and cats do not show any clinical signs despite being in pain.  Because of this, it tends to be under-treated despite being associated with damage to other organs. 

 

How are anesthetic and non-anesthetic dental cleanings different?

It may be possible to remove the visible tartar in a well-behaved, awake pet.  However the tartar below the gum line is left behind and will continue to cause damage, infection, pain, and bad breath.  So although non-anesthetic dentals sound appealing, the underlying periodontal disease will continue to spread.