Because animals don’t “open wide” for the dentist.
When animals are suffering from oral or dental problems, examination of the mouth can provide valuable information. Even in cooperative animals though, this examination provides a limited amount of information and further diagnostics are required to evaluate the severity and extent of the problem. Once the problem has been assessed, treating the oral problems also requires anesthesia.
Every patient undergoing an anesthetic procedure at Animal Dental Clinic has a thorough general health assessment to ensure that the risks of an anesthetic procedure have been assessed and minimized. It’s important to determine that they are outweighed by the benefit of treatment, as the alternative is often that the pet goes on with a miserable mouth. Once anesthetized, patients are carefully monitored throughout the entire treatment and recovery process. We customize our anesthetic plans to the requirements of the procedures to be performed and the animal’s needs, allowing quick recovery and long-lasting pain control.
Before anesthesia: During the initial visit, prior to anesthesia, a veterinarian will assess and discuss all anesthetic concerns and explain the process. Decisions about a pet’s anesthetic plan will be based on the pet’s physical examination and blood work results. If there is evidence of systemic health concerns, additional diagnostic steps may be recommended to make sure a pet is a candidate for anesthesia. This approach allows for anesthetic plans to be tailored to the pet’s condition and requirements for the procedure.
General anesthesia: There are varying levels of anesthesia, from light to deep. Non-painful procedures such as dental scaling (except root scaling) and polishing are performed under relatively light anesthesia, while surgery (including root scaling) requires local anesthesia and additional medication for pain control. We maintain patients at the level of anesthesia required for their procedures, but no deeper, and make sure that pain is prevented and controlled. Our goal, for most of our patients, is to release them to go home hours after their procedure, fully recovered from anesthetic and comfortable.
Local (regional) anesthesia: A major part of our patients’ anesthetic plans are local or regional nerve blocks to prevent discomfort and pain at their source. These are done during procedures such as deep cleaning or surgery and allow for a patient to be maintained at lighter level of general anesthesia, and to have continued local pain control during and after their recovery.
Monitoring: Once anesthetized, every patient under anesthesia is double–monitored; first by the veterinarian treating your pet, and second, by another staff member dedicated exclusively to checking and recording vital parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, tissue oxygenation, CO2 levels and temperature. Continuous communication between the team allows tailoring and adjustments of anesthesia based on patient needs.
Recovery: Our anesthetic plans are tailored to allow a quick recovery whenever appropriate. Regardless of the duration of the procedure and anesthesia recovery, patients are well supported and closely monitored to make sure they are back to their normal selves before being discharged from the hospital.