WTVC’s Comprehensive 12-Step Dental Cleaning

What is included in our 12-step cleaning and FAQ’s about dental procedures

1)  Pre-surgical exam and consultation with a doctor
2)  Pre-medication/pain relief before anesthesia (we encourage you to be present)
3)  Ultrasonic cleaning using chlorhexidene (antiseptic rinse)
4)  Hand scaling
5)  Sub gingival curettage (under gum debridement if advanced disease)
6)  Root planing (if advanced disease)
7)  Slow speed polishing
8)  Complete oral charting
9)  Oral Exam by a doctor (including oral cancer)
10)  Fluoride application
11)  Oravet ® barrier sealant applied
12)  Personalized Dental home care plan

NOTE:  Steps  3 thru 11 and dental X-rays (see below) can only be done  thoroughly and safely while under general anesthesia.

Virtually every board certified veterinary dentist agrees that this 12-step approach (including dental x-rays) will detect the most problems and is preferred. This is supported by the AAHA dentistry guidelines.

•    Over 25% of dogs with normal oral exams have 1 or more problems that are only evident on radiographs
•    Over 50% of cats the age of 5 or older have abnormal x-rays.
•    All chipped and discolored teeth may have abscesses.
•    Before any teeth are removed oral pathology needs to be identified.
•    Missing teeth can develop bone destructive cysts.
•    A “look into future” gives us ability to prevent unnecessary emergency dental visits  or painful episode.
•    Deep periodontal pockets
•    Missing teeth (dogs should have 42 and cats 30)
•    Chipped or fractured teeth
•    Resorptive lesions
•    Apical abscesses
•    Malformed teeth
•    Discolored teeth

Many of these teeth can be saved by applying sealants, below gum time released antibiotics (perioceutic), performing a root canal (if an important tooth) or extraction via oral surgery techniques. These decisions will be made on a tooth by tooth basis fully involving you in the decision making process.

Additional Procedures Commonly Performed for Dogs

Additional Procedures for Cats

•    Local blocks
•    Non steroidal anti inflammatories (NSAIDS) like Rimadyl, Previcox, and Metacam
•    Narcotic pain injections
•    Constant assessment (before, during & after procedure)
•    At home pain relievers
WTVC practices breed specific dentistry (the following breeds need a different dental prevention and treatment focus)

  • Retrievers (chipped teeth, discolored teeth)
  • Pugs, bostons, boxers, shitzus, Lhasas, Yorkshire terriers, bull dogs (missing teeth, crowded, partially erupted, deciduous canine teeth)
  • All small dogs less than 20 lbs (prone to periodontitis & teeth loss because of thin bone)
  • Greyhounds (prone to periodontitis)
  • Brachycephalic (short nosed) breeds have slightly higher anesthetic risk
•    Our staff is well trained to be able to safely induce & monitor anesthesia
•    We have “state of the art” monitoring and warming units
•    We follow AAHA and AVDC protocols
•    Drs & Certified veterinary technicians work as a team
•    We place IV catheters in all pets
•    We practice balanced anesthesia by using pre-emptive and comprehensive pain relief using local blocks & premeds to lower induction & maintenance amounts of inhaled anesthetics.

  • We use VetDar a digital anesthesia monitoring program on all patients

Note: “Sedation dentistry” does NOT allow the complete visualization, charting and staging/documentation using x-rays that can be obtained by our 12-step cleaning.  Placement of an endotracheal tube is paramount for a thorough cleaning and anesthetic safety.

We have a board certified anesthesiologist available (by appt) for high risk, long or complicated anesthesia or just for extra “peace of mind.”  Please ask for details.

The comprehensive personalized homecare plan we provide includes:

  • VOHC (veterinary oral health council) approved Rx foods (Purina DH, Hills TD & Royal Canin Dental Formula)
  • Oravet ® barrier sealant
  • Evidence based tooth brushing pastes & rinses
  • Evidence based treats & water additives
  • Recommendation of Teeth safe toys
The primary difference is the use of anesthesia and the additional expense of that monitoring and use of drugs that is not typically necessary in human dentistry. Pets can’t and simply won’t allow the necessary procedures while awake.

To control costs…..the early preventative approach is also the most cost effective approach. Grade 1 & 2 dental cleanings typically costs $150 to $250 but Grade 3 & 4 stages can be from $500 to over $1000 to include the full mouth radiographs, oral surgery, anesthesia and pain medications it takes when disease is advanced.

Canine Dental Treatment Plan

Feline Dental Treatment Plan

We hope you find this useful for your pet’s dental health!

Drs. Ken Lambrecht, Tina Karls, Rachel Stading and the patient care team at WTVC