dog dental exam

Dental Care

Why Using Anesthesia for Pets Dental and Teeth Cleaning is Safe

When it comes to pets and their teeth, an annual cleaning by our veterinarians in Westlake Village is necessary to keep the gum areas and other organs healthy. We recommend anesthesia to perform teeth cleaning and understand that some owners of dogs and cats may be wary of its use. But let us tell you more about the entire dental process at our animal clinic serving Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village and the surrounding areas of Lake Sherwood, Newbury Park, Agoura Hills, and Oak Park and why anesthesia is safe.

Why is Dental Care So Important?

With poor dental care, food and saliva combine on the teeth to form plaque, a substance that adheres to the teeth and even gets under the gums. The plaque attracts bacteria, and this is where the damage comes in. Unchecked bacteria can cause periodontal disease, tooth loss, and jawbone abscesses. Periodontal disease is a gum disease that affects tissues above and surrounding the teeth. As the condition worsens, bacteria buildup causes inflammation, tissue damage, and eventually destroys gums, connective tissues and the underlying jawbone. The bacteria from this plaque and tartar buildup can also spread to the internal organs causing serious issues such as heart disease. Proper dental care prevents these issues from occurring.

Pre-Procedure Exam and Assessment by Our Veterinarians

Before any dental procedure on dogs or cats, our veterinarians perform a thorough examination and series of tests to ensure pets are healthy and able to handle anesthesia. These tests, performed at our veterinary, include a complete blood panel, urinalysis and other testing as may be indicated.

Veterinary Teeth Cleaning Steps and Procedures for Dogs and Cats

Once pets have been deemed healthy and safe for anesthesia, we begin by administering the anesthesia so your pet will be comfortable and safe, and our veterinarians will be able to perform a thorough job without dogs or cats moving. We use the most up-to-date and safe anesthesia products for pets and use our modern anesthetic monitoring equipment to supervise the pet’s condition throughout the procedure. Once pets are ready, the veterinarians do the following:

  • Thorough oral check using digital x-rays to check for problems beneath the gum such as broken teeth, infections, and periodontal disease
  • Complete cleaning beneath the gum line to clean out the bacteria and arrest developing periodontal disease
  • Scaling and polishing the lower part of the teeth

Why Do Our Veterinarians Recommend Using Anesthesia?

Although it is possible to clean the teeth of a calm pet, we recommend using anesthesia for teeth cleaning of dogs and cats for two main reasons. First, for pets who undergo the procedure while awake, it is frightening and uncomfortable and from then on, their visits to our veterinary for any reason will probably fill them with pure terror. Second, it is extremely difficult for our veterinarians to work on pets who are unable to be still.

Our veterinarians at our animal clinic, serving Thousand Oaks, Lake Sherwood, Newbury Park, Agoura Hills, Oak Park, and Westlake Village, want the best for your pet’s health and well-being and regular teeth cleaning plays a big part in that. Call us today at (805) 495-1059, make an appointment for your pet’s teeth cleaning, and learn about both our new client and referral specials.

Dental Care FAQs

Dental Care from Our Westlake Village Vets

At Anza Animal Clinic, our Westlake Village vets are committed to providing your pet with the highest quality care in our office. Our full-service clinic is able to cater to all your pet’s health and wellness needs—even offering a wide range of dental care services to promote oral and dental health in pets. If your pet is overdue for professional teeth cleaning, we encourage you to schedule one with our experienced team!

Commonly Asked Questions About Pet Dental Health

Pet owners often have questions about their pet’s dental health, and our team is here to answer them.

Why Should Pets Have Professional Teeth Cleanings?

Some pet owners are initially hesitant to bring their pets in for professional dental exams and cleanings because they don’t understand the importance. However, your pet’s dental and oral health is extremely vital, and can even have an influence on his or her overall wellness. For example, even a small cavity in the tooth can spread and turn into a dangerous infection known as an abscess, if left untreated. With routine dental exams and cleanings, you can protect your pet from common (and painful) dental issues such as tooth decay, abscesses, gum disease, and permanent tooth loss.

How Can I Care for My Pet’s Teeth at Home?

In between professional teeth cleanings, pet owners should also protect and clean their pets’ teeth at home using a pet-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste (which you can find at your local pet store). While it may take some time and practice before your pet gets comfortable with the routine, regular brushing is key to preventing plaque accumulation on the teeth and below the gum line.

Is Anesthesia Safe for Use During Dental Cleanings?

We use anesthesia for pet teeth cleanings because it allows our veterinary team to do the most thorough job while also preventing unnecessary stress for your pet. We will perform all necessary pre-appointment blood work and testing to ensure that your pet’s anesthesia experience is as safe as possible, and your pet will be carefully monitored at all stages.

What Other Dental Care Services do You Offer?

In addition to routine pet dental cleanings, our team also offers dental exams and treatment for common dental problems, such as decay and gum disease.

Imagine if you never brushed your teeth or had them cleaned. Pretty frightening, right? As you can imagine, things would eventually start to go very, very bad inside your mouth: teeth would rot and decay, gums would become inflamed and infected. Bacteria from those rotting teeth would eventually travel into your bloodstream and could cause other serious health problems. And we haven’t even mentioned the daily, debilitating pain.

It’s the same scenario for your dog or cat. While some people might laugh at the idea of brushing their pet’s teeth or taking them for a dental cleaning, the fact is that by age three, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some evidence of periodontal disease. Periodic dental exams help maintain proper oral hygiene and prevent future problems.

Anza Animal Clinic offers complete pet oral health services, including:

  • Dental exams
  • Annual dental cleanings
  • Dental X-rays
  • Extractions

Following American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines, Anza Animal Clinic only does cleanings and dental work on anesthetized pets. To ensure your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia, we do require a routine blood test before the procedure.


Preventive Dental Care

Brushing your pet’s teeth several times per week is the best way to prevent plaque and tartar build-up. Interested in learning how to brush your pet’s teeth? Just ask and our veterinarians will be happy to help you get started. If you have a pet that won’t tolerate brushing, our veterinarians can also recommend products that will help keep your pet’s mouth healthy in between cleanings.

To make an appointment for a dental exam or cleaning, call us at (805) 495-1059.