The Details About a Pet Dental Cleaning

Ever wonder what a dental cleaning is really all about?
What happens when my pet undergoes a dental cleaning?
Is a dental cleaning really necessary?

A dental procedure at Birdneck Animal Hospital does not begin until all pre-anesthetic tests have been completed and closely checked for any abnormality that may indicate an increased risk of anesthesia.  If no increased risk is noted, an intravenous catheter is placed.  The pet is then anesthetized, first with injectable medication and then intubated (a breathing tube placed in the trachea) which allows the patient to be maintained with inhalant anesthesia.  This very important step allows us to easily control the depth of anesthesia and prevent bacteria and debris from the teeth from being washed down into the lungs.  We then begin to use five different monitoring systems.  The first is the veterinary assistant.  This person monitors the patient from the moment of anesthesia to  the time of full wakefulness.  Other monitors are a pulse oximeter which monitors the blood oxygen level, an esophogeal stethescope which gives us easy access to the heart sounds, a respiratory monitor which beeps with each breath and alerts us if there has not been a breath in 30 seconds, and an electrocardiogram.  We tremendously reduce the risk of anesthetic procedures by being this careful.

This first photo shows moderated dental disease.  Gingivitis (red inflamed gums) is seen above several of the upper teeth, especially when compared to the healthier lower gums.   Deposits of calculus can be seen around the base of the upper canine tooth and covering most of the upper fourth premolar.  Once this rock-hard material is scaled off, the inflamed gums become even more evident.  The calculus traps bacteria below the gum line, which leads to infection, pain, and an increased likelihood of bacteria entering the blood stream where it can hurt the heart, kidneys and liver. 

The second photo is after scaling, polishing, therapeutic laser treatment and fluoride treatment.

At our animal clinic, we provide health services for all aspects of pet health. If you have questions about pet oral health or would like to schedule a pet dental cleaning, please email us or call us at 757-355-5694.


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Feedback from our clients

  • "Words can not begin to express our gratitude for the care you had given Hunter over the years. When his time came, he watched for you to come through the door and his tail showed his affection towards you. That was most comforting having you there. Thank you.""
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Maggie over the years. Y'all are the best and Dr. Johnson, you are the best vet in the world! God bless you all.""
    ~ J.D.
  • ""Your care for my beloved Mattie these last 10n years made her life, and mine much better….God bless each of you for all you did for us and I'm sure for all your other two and four legged patients.""
  • ""Thank you for saving my life." ~T.C."
  • ""I can not express how grateful I am for you and your staff… I appreciate everything you did in Beckham's treatment. He was so lucky to have such a wonderful doctor on his side. Thank you for all you do for the benefit of all our beloved pets.""
  • ""Dr. Johnson - There are no words that can truly capture your kindness.""
  • ""Thank you for the great care you took of Taco and the rest of our family. He is doing great now! He is enjoying running and playing with all four legs again.""
  • ""People who avail themselves of your services at the clinic certainly are blessed to have such a caring staff....bless you and your devoted staff.""
  • ""A sincere thank you for taking such good care of Dulce. We are so thrilled that she is back to her normal self. You gave her the support and care she needed in her darkest hours and kept us confident in her recovery.""
  • ""Just to say how much we appreciate all of you. You all are wonderful people. We feel blessed to have our beloved furry children in your care when they need it. Your professional knowledge and your acts of kindness have a beautiful act all it's own. You are a great vet, compassionate and everything good all in one. You are in our daily prayers.""
  • ""Thank you and all of your staff for the excellent care you gave to my wonderful Abbey, who was so much a part of the family. Thank you for all the advice and support you gave to me these last few months. I don't know how I would have gotten through this without your constant support. I will, and I have highly recommended you to family and friends, as I feel you are the best!""
  • ""Thank you for taking care of my kitty, Slingshot. He is feeling better and better. My Paw-Paw said that you took extra special care of him and I really appreciate it. So, thank you again for taking care of my cat.""
    ~T.B. (age 6)
  • ""Dr. Johnson, I don't know why you decided to move here from your home in New Jersey, but I absolutely believe it was so you could help me and Mickey. I know coming to someone's home is not what a typical veterinarian would do, but you are obviously an extraordinary man in a world filled with ordinary men….On top of that, your sensitive and wonderful handwritten note arrived and touched my heart…You are one of those quiet, unheralded champions who make life easier for everyone you touch.""
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Lola when she had her reaction, and your office was already closed. I know you took time away from yourself and your family and I really appreciate it.""
  • ""Thank you for giving me more time with my best friend. We are all so grateful.""
  • ""Thank you for all of your support for Maxine during her illness. All was very much appreciated and will always be remembered. I have related to all my friends of what a great doctor and staff at Birdneck Animal Hospital.""
  • ""Thank you for taking such good care of me over the last 4 years. I am doing well and both legs and feet feel great. You sis an awesome job on me Dr. Johnson, and I'm gonna have a great year this year and I hope to see you only for my check up. You guys are the best!""
  • "We can't thank you enough for the wonderful and loving care you gave to"Budkus" while he was in your care. He was so little and so sick and we were so scared for him. Each and every one of the staff members made us feel like we had the only dog in the world. Like nothing else mattered except getting "Budkus" well again. Our deepest gratitude to all of you for the excellent care and attention we received, for your encouragement, comfort, and understanding, and most importantly for saving his life! Thank you so much.""
    ~ J.,B.,C.