Q:

How do vets clean a dog's teeth?

A:

Quick Answer

To clean a dog’s teeth, veterinarians administer an anesthetic, perform X-rays and rinse the dog’s mouth. Next, the vet removes plaque on the teeth with special tools. After cleaning, the vet polishes the teeth, rinses the mouth and finishes with fluoride foam.

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Full Answer

  1. Administer anesthetic and perform X-rays

    The vet administers an anesthetic before the dental cleaning and inserts a tracheal tube to help the dog breath while unconscious. When the dog is anesthetized, the vet rinses the dog’s mouth and performs X-rays to identify any hidden or potential complications.

  2. Clean the teeth

    The vet uses an ultrasonic scaler and hand tools to remove plaque and tartar on the dog's teeth. He carefully cleans the entire surface of the tooth and under the gum line. After cleaning the teeth, a probe is used to search for signs of dental disease. If everything is fine, the vet polishes the teeth with a special paste.

  3. Rinse the dog’s mouth, and apply fluoride

    When polishing is complete, the vet rinses the dog’s mouth and applies fluoride foam to the teeth to protect against decay. The dog is placed in a kennel where the vet and technicians observe him while he wakes up from the anesthesia.

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