What is Pet Dental Scaling and Cleaning?

Pet dental scaling and cleaning is a professional veterinary procedure to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from a pet’s teeth and gums. This process helps prevent periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss and other health issues if left untreated. The procedure is similar to human dental cleanings but is performed under general anesthesia to ensure the pet remains still and stress-free.

Benefits of Pet Dental Scaling and Cleaning

  1. Prevents Periodontal Disease: Regular dental cleanings help prevent the onset of periodontal disease, which can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss.
  2. Improves Overall Health: Oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and affect the heart, kidneys, and liver. Keeping the mouth clean reduces the risk of systemic infections.
  3. Eliminates Bad Breath: Removing plaque and tartar eliminates the bacteria responsible for bad breath.
  4. Maintains Healthy Teeth and Gums: Regular cleaning helps keep teeth and gums healthy, ensuring your pet can eat comfortably.
  5. Early Detection of Oral Issues: Regular dental check-ups allow the vet to detect potential issues early, such as tumors or broken teeth.

Procedure of Pet Dental Scaling and Cleaning

  1. Pre-Procedure Examination: The veterinarian conducts a thorough examination, which may include blood tests to ensure the pet is healthy enough for anesthesia.
  2. Anesthesia: General anesthesia is administered to keep the pet pain-free and still during the procedure.
  3. Oral Examination: Once the pet is under anesthesia, the veterinarian conducts a detailed oral examination using dental probes and mirrors.
  4. Scaling: Plaque and tartar are removed from above and below the gum line using both hand and ultrasonic scalers.
  5. Polishing: After scaling, the teeth are polished to smooth the enamel and prevent future plaque buildup.
  6. Rinse and Fluoride Treatment: The mouth is rinsed to remove debris, and a fluoride treatment may be applied to strengthen the teeth and reduce sensitivity.
  7. Post-Procedure Monitoring: The pet is closely monitored as it wakes up from anesthesia to ensure a smooth recovery.

Aftercare for Pet Dental Scaling and Cleaning

  1. Monitoring: Keep a close eye on your pet for the first 24 hours after the procedure. Watch for any signs of discomfort or unusual behavior.
  2. Diet: Feed your pet a soft diet for a few days to avoid stressing the teeth and gums. Gradually reintroduce regular food as directed by your veterinarian.
  3. Pain Management: If prescribed, administer pain medication as directed by your vet to manage any post-procedure discomfort.
  4. Oral Hygiene: Start a regular dental care routine at home, including brushing your pet’s teeth with a pet-specific toothpaste and toothbrush.
  5. Follow-Up Visits: Schedule follow-up appointments with your vet to monitor your pet’s oral health and address any concerns.
  6. Dental Chews and Toys: Provide dental chews and toys designed to help reduce plaque and tartar buildup.
  7. Watch for Signs of Issues: Keep an eye out for signs of dental problems such as bad breath, difficulty eating, pawing at the mouth, or drooling, and contact your vet if you notice any issues.


Regular dental scaling and cleaning are crucial for maintaining your pet’s oral and overall health. By following the recommended procedure and aftercare, you can help ensure your pet remains healthy, happy, and free from dental diseases.

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