Healthier Smiles for a Healthier Pet

GUELPH, ON, Feb. 1, 2016 /CNW/ - That's the power of professional dental care from your veterinary healthcare team.

A complete oral exam and a therapeutic dental cleaning are vital to keeping your dog or cat healthy. That's because plaque and tartar build-up, especially under the gumline, needs to be removed regularly to prevent tooth decay, gum inflammation, and periodontal disease.

A professional dental cleaning is a complex procedure and can only be performed at your veterinarian's clinic. This is because a general anaesthetic is required to adequately examine and clean each tooth and hard-to-reach places, like under the gumline. (Imagine trying to clean under your pet's gums while they are awake—it would be impossible to keep them still!)

What happens during a therapeutic dental cleaning?

Examination and Evaluation

After your pet has been safely anaesthetized, a thorough oral examination is performed by your veterinary team. This includes probing each tooth and documenting all findings in the pet's dental chart.

Dental X-rays

These radiograph images help your veterinarian make a more accurate evaluation of your pet's oral health by revealing issues that are invisible to the naked eye.


This process removes all tartar and plaque from the teeth and from under the gumline. The same type of instruments your dentist uses on your teeth (scalers and curettes) will be used.


The cleaning process can leave a rough finish that can trap plaque. Polishing will smooth out tooth surfaces and make it harder for plaque to come back.


After the teeth have been cleaned and polished they are rinsed to remove any remaining debris. It is important that no debris, such as polishing paste, be left under the gumline.

Sealing the surfaces of the teeth

A sealant may be applied to your pet's teeth to help protect the enamel and prevent tooth decay.

Benefits of a professional dental cleaning:

  • Removes plaque build-up above and below the gumline
  • Identifies problems that should be addressed (includes recommending surgery)
  • Prepares the teeth for tartar prevention and home dental care

Make at-home dental care part of your pet's routine.

There are many dental products available from your veterinary clinic. Speak with your veterinary healthcare team for a recommended home dental care routine that best suits your lifestyle.

SOURCE Canadian Animal Health Institute

Image with caption: "Since a general anaesthetic is required on cats and dogs during a professional dental cleaning, the procedure can only be performed at your veterinarian’s clinic. To make at-home dental care part of your pet's routine, ask your veterinary healthcare team to recommend products that best suits your lifestyle. (CNW Group/Canadian Animal Health Institute)". Image available at:

For further information: Lise Rodgers, Canadian Animal Health Institute, 519-763-7777

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