General anesthesia is required for the majority of dental procedures we perform in pets. This allows us to immobilize the patient and to prevent any pain. Anesthesia is the primary concern most pet owners have in considering dental care for their pets. It should be noted that in the majority of patients the benefits of a dental procedure far outweigh the risks of anesthesia. In fact, untreated periodontal disease will result in far more complications than anesthesia.
Whether an animal is 6 months or 16 years, a proper pre-anesthetic workup will be completed to identify any hidden health problems. This may include; comprehensive physical exam, blood or urine profiles and if necessary EKG or X-rays. Based on the results, the pet's age, and length of the procedure an anesthetic protocol is selected.
Every patient receives a pre-anesthetic pain medication. Then pet anesthetized with a short acting intravenous anesthetic to allow placement of an endotracheal tube into the pet's windpipe. This is important to protect the airway during the teeth cleaning and flushing of the mouth as well as it allows a gas anesthetic to be used. The anesthetic is mixed with oxygen in a vaporizer. The vaporizer controls the amount (%) of gas anesthetic mixture a pet receives. Isoflurane or sevoflurane are the anesthetics we use and are considered the safest. After the procedure the pet recovers by exhaling the anesthetic gas and recovers quickly.
Each pet is constantly monitored during the procedure. The technician will evaluate the pet's heart rate, respiration rate, reflexes, gum color and jaw tone to evaluate the depth of the anesthetic. Each patient will also have a patient monitor. These monitors measure hear rate, respiration, oxygen saturation, carbon dioxide and blood pressure.
A warm water heating pad provides supplemental heat during the procedure. Thermal support is important for all anesthetized patients. This hot water pump warms the blue blanket and is placed under each patient.
Intravenous fluid support is another essential tool in our anesthetized patients. This therapy assists in maintaining a pet's blood pressure during and after the procedure. In patients with
Analgesic (pain relief)
Untreated dental disease in our patients is a chronic source of pain. In veterinary dentistry we use a consider pain prevention at each step of a patients treatment (pre-operative,
All patients undergoing a procedure receive pain medication before beginning the procedure. Local nerve blocks are used as needed to stop pain transmission during the procedure.
This pain prevention approach greatly limits the discomfort a pet may experience from the necessary dental treatment. Furthermore it will improve a pet's recovery and speed their healing.