Pet Dental Care

If You Answer Yes To Any of These Questions, Your Pet Most Likely Needs a Dental:

  • Does your pet’s breath smell bad ?
  • When you “flip the lip” & look at all the teeth is there plaque build-up and/or red inflamed gums?
  • Is your pet taking longer to eat or reluctant to chew hard food and/or treats?
  • Has your veterinarian suggested a dental cleaning?

What’s Involved In a Professional Cleaning?

*indicates an OPTIONAL procedure

In many ways, the process in cleaning your pet’s teeth is identical to having your own teeth professionally cleaned. The biggest differences are that 1. pets need to undergo general anesthesia for a safe & thorough cleaning & 2. in many cases we have to rely on our dental exam & lab findings (including those from dental xray) done only after the pet is sedated to detect disease. Just because a tooth & its associated gum looks healthy on the outside, does not mean the root is healthy below the surface!

Healthy Pets Under 6 Years of Age:

Although we do not require these pets to have *bloodwork done prior to undergoing anesthesia, it is highly recommended. For a relatively minimal fee we can evaluate your pet’s kidneys, liver & red blood cells to help ensure that your pet is healthy enough to undergo general anesthesia.

Pets with Medical Conditions & Pets Over 6 Years of Age:

Pets in this category should have a more thorough work-up (including more extensive *bloodwork, a *urinalysis and an *EKG) prior to undergoing anesthesia. Minimally, these pets should have some basic bloodwork to help evaluate their kidneys, liver & blood cells.

All Pets:

  • Physical Exam – done on all pets the morning of surgery
  • Placement of IV Catheter – placed in all pets to help ensure safe anesthesia
  • PreAnesthetic Medications – given to help sedate the pet and for pain relief in those pets requiring extractions
  • nesthetic Monitoring – all pets are monitored by an anesthesia nurse, and with an EKG and pulse oximeter, possibly with a body warming unit as well

Dental Cleaning

  • Ultrasonic Scaling - (like that used by our own dentists) with an automated scaler is done to remove plaque, tartar & calculus on the teeth & under the gumline
  • Hand Scaling – with hand tools for hard to reach areas
  • Polishing – to smooth any irregularities in the enamel
  • Dental Charting & Probing – measuring above & below the gumline to help detect any areas of disease
  • *Digital XRays* – to better evaluate the tooth roots & disease under the gumline (many conditions detected with xray are very painful yet totally undetectable without the use of xray!)

Application of Fluoride

*Oravet® Application* – once the plaque has been removed, the teeth are dried with cool air and the oravet gel sealant applied to each tooth

Dental Pet Care Summary

Does your pet need a breath mint, constantly? Best Friends Animal Hospital wants all pet owners to be aware of the importance of dental care to the health and welfare of their pets. Dental disease can cause a wide range of health problems. In addition to oral pain (and smelly breath), dental disease can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause infections in the heart, kidneys and other parts of the body. The pain caused by dental disease can be very difficult to detect. Most pets show no obvious signs of pain when tolerating even extremely painful dental conditions. These painful conditions can be detected either during a physical exam, during a thorough dental exam or with dental radiographs (x-rays).

Keeping your pet’s teeth healthy is very similar to keeping your teeth healthy. The goal is to combine oral hygiene (at home cleaning) and preventative professional teeth cleaning and to address any disease early before it worsens and spreads. Having your pet’s teeth professionally cleaned, polished and treated with fluoride is a key component. Since your pet’s diet, frequency of home care, breed, age, and genetics can all play roles in how fast dental disease progresses, we tailor the frequency of these cleanings to each pet’s individual needs. Dental x-rays provide your veterinarian with valuable information on conditions that cannot be detected other ways. At Best Friends we use state-of-the art digital x-ray equipment. This allows us to get very high quality information and to do it very quickly. Because we can obtain the highest quality images quickly, your pet will need less time under anesthesia.

Our staff can help you determine the best hygiene approach for your pet’s individual needs. We can recommend chew toys and treats that can help minimize the build up of plaque and tartar. There is even a special diet that we carry made by Purina called DH® (dental health) that promotes healthy teeth.

OraVet® is another product that works very well for a lot of pets. It is a sealant that prevents plaque (and therefore bacteria) from binding to the teeth. It also acts as a bandage to protect the gums and enhance healing. Once your pet’s teeth have been professionally cleaned (this is a prerequisite as the teeth need to be dry & completely free from plaque), the OraVet is applied. Two weeks later, you start applying the gel to the teeth on a weekly basis. (The Home Care Kit is purchased separately & one kit will last from 8-16 weeks.) This product is especially great for those of us who can’t brush our pet’s teeth, though it can be used with brushing for even better results. And it is also great for those pets whose teeth are just prone to dental disease. Although OraVet will not eliminate the need for cleanings, it will dramatically increase the time before another cleaning is needed! It is strongly recommended by the American Veterinary Dental Association.

Please schedule your pet’s dental cleaning now as appointments are limited & made on a first-come first-served basis. If you have already scheduled your pet’s procedure you may go to our forms section on the website to either print and bring in or fill out and submit online the Anesthesia Consent Form & the Dental Options Form.


202 Frank Scott Pkwy E, Swansea IL

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule


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7:00 am-7:00 pm


7:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-12:00 pm