Keeping your dog's mouth clean is important for many different reasons. Our South Salem vets explain how having healthy teeth and gums can prevent oral pain and health issues, and the cost factors behind this procedure.
Does your dog need their teeth cleaned?
About Dog Teeth Cleanings
It is widely assumed that dogs clean their own teeth by chewing on toys or bones, but that is not all that they need to maintain healthy teeth and gums. A dental exam for your dog will be needed first to determine if they need cleaning and what will need to be done.
When you bring your dog in for teeth cleaning, we'll start by taking X-rays of your dog's mouth to gauge the health of the jaw and tooth roots. After the X-rays have been taken, a veterinarian will need to scale and polish the teeth to remove plaque and tartar, depending on your dog's oral health, while your dog is asleep (under general anesthesia). Your veterinarian may need to safely fill or extract teeth from your dog’s mouth.
Your pet should begin to recover within a few hours of waking up, but the full recovery could take up to 48 hours. Your pet may appear drowsy and unable to eat. If they are still drowsy, disoriented, or have lost their appetite after about 24 hours, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Getting your dog's teeth cleaned should not cause them any additional pain. Most dogs are fine after waking up and just want to eat.
How much does a dog's dental cleaning cost?
Many pet owners call to ask us, "How much is a dog teeth cleaning?"
Please contact us and schedule an appointment to get an accurate cost estimate. The cost of cleaning your dog's teeth will vary depending on the condition of your dog's teeth and the amount of work that needs to be done. Extra treatments may be more expensive than others. Extras could include any periodontal disease treatments or tooth extractions.
How do they clean the dog's teeth?
When you bring your dog into the veterinarian’s office, their visit could include a dental examination, teeth cleaning, and polishing to remove the tartar and disease-causing plaque.
To ensure everyone's safety, this will be done while your dog is sleeping. Once your dog is asleep, the veterinarian will examine his or her mouth, paying special attention to the teeth and gums for any abnormalities that may be cause for concern.
The vet will use a probe to assess gum bleeding to confirm the gums are not bleeding excessively. They will also clear food debris and decay from any pockets that may have developed.
If the veterinarian does notice any kind of dental disease that is advanced or advancing, they may not be able to save the badly affected tooth, which would then need to be extracted either during the procedure or at a later time.
How often does your dog need professional teeth cleaning?
Most veterinarians will advise you to bring your dog in for professional cleaning once a year for most breeds, but some breeds, particularly smaller ones, may require two visits per year to prevent tooth loss. Following a cleaning, your veterinarian can advise you on the best cleaning schedule for your dog.
Why is it important?
Professional cleaning of your dog's teeth is essential for a variety of reasons. The most important reasons are to prevent tooth/teeth loss, bad breath (halitosis), dental disease management and prevention, oral pain management and prevention, and, most importantly, organ damage.