Harbor Animal Hospital Dental Training at our Weekly Team Meeting!
Home » Harbor Animal Hospital Dental Training at our Weekly Team Meeting!
At our staff meeting this week our entire veterinary team was able to observe our veterinarians and technicians performing a routine teeth cleaning on one of our fantastic canine patients, Sam. The first order of business was for Dr. Norby to perform a physical exam and run a pre-operative blood panel on Sam to help ensure that he was healthy prior to anesthesia. With our in-house lab equipment we were able to check Sam’s liver, kidneys, blood sugar, red and white blood cell levels and hydration. After Dr. Norby determined that Sam was healthy, Denise, one of our licensed veterinary technicians, placed an IV catheter in his front leg. The IV catheter allowed us to administer IV fluids to Sam which helped maintain his hydration and blood pressure throughout the procedure. The catheter also gave us an open window into his vein through which we could rapidly administer medications should we run into any anesthetic difficulties or emergencies. At this point, Dr. Norby anesthetized Sam with injectable agents and then maintained him with an inhalant anesthetic through an endo-tracheal tube so the teeth cleaning could begin. First, Denise manually scaled off the largest pieces of calculus from his teeth. Next, she used an ultrasonic scaler to thoroughly remove all of the calculus from Sam’s teeth both from the visible crowns and from up under the gum line, which is where the bulk of the bacteria resides. After that, Denise manually inspected his teeth and gums, and finally she polished his teeth. Polishing is important as it smooths the surface of the teeth making it harder for future plaque to adhere to them. Lastly, an antibacterial rinse was flushed through his entire mouth removing the last of the bacteria. Once Sam’s teeth were thoroughly cleaned and polished, Dr. Norby re-inspected his teeth for any signs of periodontal disease which could lead to deep pockets in his gums and ultimately the loss of teeth or systemic infections. Thanks to his owner’s great in home dental care and his annual teeth cleanings, Sam’s teeth cleaned up well and he had no significant periodontal disease. Dr. Norby determined he did not need any dental radiographs this year nor did he need any extractions. Big kudos to Sam’s owner for her great at-home dental care routine! Once his teeth cleaning was done and Dr. Norby had finished her inspection, Sam’s anesthetic gas was discontinued and he was gently woken up and monitored closely by our wonderful nursing staff. Later that afternoon Sam went home with a new bandana, a beautiful smile, and fresh breath! Now it’s your pets turn!