In the past, our dental procedures for veterinary patients were typically one extended anesthetic event with unpredictable length. Depending on what was discovered once the patient was anesthetized, this procedure could last anywhere from 1 to 4 hours. Our new two-appointment protocol reduces the risk of anesthesia by splitting the process into two shorter, safer, and more predictable procedures.
The main advantage is to make the process safer for your pet!
By preventing your pet from being under anesthesia for an excessively long period of time, we reduce the chance of adverse effects such as low blood pressure (hypotension) and low body temperature (hypothermia). Two shorter procedures increase the likelihood of smoother and quicker recoveries from anesthesia each time.
Another advantage is alleviating any stress associated with the unpredictable cost of one long dental procedure. We can give you a much narrower range for an estimate for your pet’s stage one procedure. Then after the first stage, we will have a more exact estimate of the cost of any oral surgery that may be required to treat the specific diseased teeth identified during the stage one procedure.
Stage 1 - Teeth Cleaning, Full-mouth X-rays, Complete oral examination
Stage 2 - Tooth Extractions or other Oral Surgery
Honestly, our prices have increased over the past few years, and we currently perform full-mouth X-rays with every teeth cleaning, so the cost for a dental procedure for your pet now will likely be more than it was in previous years.
However, that increase in cost will not be due to this new structure of splitting the procedure into two appointments. We have taken this into consideration when determining the pricing of our staged dental procedures so that the total cost in the end would be comparable to what would be charged if everything was done in one appointment.
If your pet can undergo one anesthesia, then we do not have any concerns about them coping with a second anesthesia.
Our anesthetic protocols are tailored to each individual patient based on their health needs to increase safety.
In addition, every pet is closely monitored by a certified veterinary technician as well as multi-parameter anesthetic monitoring equipment.
Anesthesia always involves some level of risk, and we strive to minimize that risk as much as possible. If you have questions about how we can further reduce your pet’s risk for anesthesia, please ask us!
We have better choices for anesthetic drugs and better monitoring equipment than in the past. So, if you were told in the past that your last pet was too old for a dental procedure, that may no longer be the case.
The best way to determine if your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia for a dental procedure is to start with a doctor’s exam and pre-op bloodwork.
During your pet’s stage 1 procedure, a thorough oral exam as well as full-mouth dental X-rays will be used to evaluate the health of every tooth. If diseased teeth or jaw bone are discovered, then treatment is required to manage pain, prevent future spread of infection, and allow your pet to eat comfortably.
If left untreated, dental disease can lead to other health issues and decrease your pet’s expected lifespan.
Sometimes. If there are any teeth that are very loose and considered a "simple extraction", then it is up to the doctor to determine if those teeth could be extracted during the stage one procedure.
However, most diseased teeth will require surgical extraction and will be treated during a stage two procedure.
Ongoing dental care at home should be provided to maintain a healthy mouth. This can include dental chews, daily brushing with enzymatic toothpaste, oral rinses, special diets, and other options.
We will also continue to evaluate your pet’s teeth whenever they come in for their wellness check-ups.
If you have any questions about how to keep your pet’s mouth healthy based on their individual lifestyle, please ask!
Similar to when we go to the dentist, the dental procedure will address any current disease present at that time, but it cannot prevent the development of future dental disease. Some patients are more prone to dental disease and may require an annual, or even semi-annual, dental procedure to clean their teeth and assess for any newly diseased teeth.
The fastest way to get your specific questions answered is to text us at 815-942-1199 with your questions.