Dentistry at Mesa Veterinary Hospital 

Why is Dental Care Important?


Most Golden vet practices will agree…Routine dental care is essential in preventing periodontal disease, which affects more than just the mouth. Periodontal disease puts your pet at risk for infections in the liver, kidneys, heart, and other organs. Periodontal disease starts when bacteria in the mouth form a film called plaque. Without appropriate home dental care (tooth brushing, dental treats, etc), plaque solidifies into tartar and calculus on the teeth and under the gumline. The tartar underneath the gumline causes inflammation of the gums, or gingivitis. At this point, a thorough dental cleaning under anesthesia is the only way to reverse periodontal disease by removing the tartar from underneath the gumline. If dental care is not performed, the bacteria underneath the gums begin destroying healthy tissue and can cause abscesses of the teeth, and in severe cases, destruction of healthy bone.


Grade 1/4 Periodontal Disease

Before Cleaning - disease is mainly localized to the canine teeth. After Cleaning - gingivitis will resolve over a few days, this pet will have a healthy mouth after cleaning.
Periodontal disease  Periodontal disease 

Grade 3/4 Periodontal Disease

Before Cleaning - Severe tartar and gingivitis. After Cleaning - gingival pockets and partial root exposure exist, this pet will be at increased risk for future dental disease.
Periodontal Disease  Periodontal Disease 

What is involved in an anesthetic dental cleaning?

Pre-anesthetic bloodwork
- At Mesa, we require every pet undergoing anesthesia to have recent bloodwork to make sure there is no underlying systemic disease that may make compromise your pet's health while under anesthesia.  If we uncover a health issue with this bloodwork, we can alter our anesthetic protocol to make anesthesia safer, or postpone the procedure if it is deemed too risky.

Monitored anesthesia
- Anesthesia is required for a thorough dental cleaning, and allows us to treat the disease hidden underneath your pet's gumline.  All of our anesthetic procedures are monitored by Certified Veterinary Technicians with the aid of state of the art monitoring equipment that constantly checks your pet's heart rate, blood pressure, ECG, blood oxygen saturation, and temperature. 

Dental scaling and polishing
- An ultrasonic scaler is used to break up and remove plaque and calculus adhered to your pet's teeth and clean under the gumline.  Afterwards, polishing is performed to remove microscopic imperfections in the tooth that bacteria would otherwise be able to attach to.

Periosurgery, extractions, endodontics
- Advanced dental procedures can be performed if needed to ensure your pet's mouth stays healthy for years to come.

Why is anesthesia necessary?

Without anesthesia, the disease that is hidden under the gumline cannot be adequately treated. This subgingival plaque and tartar is the major contributor to periodontal disease. In addition, anesthesia allows our veterinarians to perform a complete oral examination to identify any disease that may not be apparent in an awake animal.

In accordance with the recommendations of the American Veterinary Dental College, we do not recommend anesthesia free dental cleanings. With these cleanings, the teeth are scaled to remove plaque and tartar from the surface, which improves the cosmetic appearance of your pet's teeth, but does nothing to improve their oral health since it does not treat the disease present below the gumline. In addition, most of these cleanings do not include polishing - the scaling that is performed creates microscopic imperfections in your pet's enamel that polishing will fix. Without polishing, bacteria can adhere to the teeth more easily in the future. In essence, anesthesia free cleaning does not improve your pet's oral health, and may actually harm it.

How do I schedule a cleaning?

If you are looking for a reliable Golden vet, please call us at our office to accommodate any kind of appointment. For most pets who are up to date on veterinary care, we can schedule the dentistry appointment immediately.