What is a Dental Prophylaxis Procedure?

If your pet’s dental health isn’t quite what it should be, your veterinarian may tell you your beloved companion needs a dental prophylaxis. Sounds serious—but what exactly is it? Learn more below from your Indianapolis’ Southside veterinarian.

What Is a Dental Prophylaxis?

Dental Prophylaxis is the veterinary term for a cleaning and polishing procedure performed on a pet’s teeth. It’s more commonly performed on cats, simply because they’re a bit more prone to plaque and tartar build-up than dogs.

What Happens Before the Procedure?

Most pets will need to be placed under a general anesthesia for the duration of the procedure. This will keep your pet still while tests are performed and the procedure itself is completed. Consult your veterinarian about further questions you might have about veterinary anesthesia.

How Does the Procedure Work?

Once your pet is anesthetized, your vet will examine the mouth. If anything is found to be wrong, your vet will take steps to correct it and go from there. The actual prophylaxis procedure involves using a vibrating instrument to remove any tartar buildup, much like a human dental exam. Once all the tartar is gone, your vet uses a pet-safe tooth polish on the teeth.

Is the Procedure Dangerous?

Anesthesia procedures are never completely risk-free, but the vast majority of cases go completely smoothly. Veterinarians and veterinary technicians are highly trained in putting pets under anesthesia, and there’s virtually no chance that your pet would be harmed.

How Long will the Procedure Take?

If no issues, injuries, or diseases need to be treated, a standard prophylaxis procedure might take between 15 and 45 minutes. Ask your vet to provide a rough time estimate before beginning the procedure.

Is There a Recovery Period?

The standard veterinary dental prophylaxis involves no recovery whatsoever—once your pet is out of the anesthesia and stabilized, he or she can go right back to standard life. Ask your Indianapolis’ Southside vet if any other procedures were performed, and what sort of recovery might be necessary.

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