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When should I get my pet's teeth cleaned?

At Best Friends Animal Hospital we will assess your pets teeth at time of their annual examination. If we examine your pet and note bad breath, tartar buildup or gingivitis, we will recommend a dental cleaning. In most cases, we recommend that you have your pets teeth cleaned annually. A complete dental cleaning requires removal of tartar and plaque above and below the gum line and this can only be done under general anesthesia. This means that your pet will spend the day in our hospital.

About the Anesthesia?

We use isoflurane inhalant (gas) anesthesia, one of the safest anesthesia available.  We also have an intravenous catheter placed and we administer fluids during surgery to ensure a safe anaesthetic and a smooth recovery.

What will be done to my pets teeth?

First any buildup is removed with ultrasonic dental equipment.  Next the teeth are evaluated for periodontal disease, such as pockets in the gum tissue or loose teeth. Then the teeth are polished. Finally, a fluoride treatment is applied to strengthen the tooth enamel. 

What if gingivitis is present or pockets are found?

These conditions are often complicated by bacterial infection and an antibiotic may be prescribed. Deep pockets will require extractions. Your veterinarian or Animal Health Technologist will discuss this with you.

What if there are diseased or loose teeth?

Some loose teeth may be extracted if there is no hope of saving the tooth.

If my pet has a fractured tooth, but doesn't seem to be in pain, why should I have it treated?

The inside of the tooth is called the "pulp." When the pulp of the tooth is exposed, it can be very painful for your pet. In addition, the inside of the tooth contains blood vessels that can absorb bacteria, exposing your pet to risk of infection.

How much does it cost?

We will be happy to give you an estimate, which includes anesthesia, hospitalization, dental cleaning and polishing, fluoride treatment, and any antibiotic medications, or pain relief medications that may be required.

Will there be additional charges?

We will run a pre-surgical blood screen on your pet to check the blood cells and test the liver and kidney function before anesthesia is administered.  Also any extractions, x-rays or dental blocks (freezing) would involve additional charges.

When will my pet be able to enjoy normal food and chew toys after a tooth extraction procedure?

Your pet will need to eat soft foods for the first two weeks after the tooth extraction. After that, your pet can resume his or her normal eating habits.

What can I do at home to keep my pets teeth healthier?

At Best Friends we carry a number of products that will help prevent dental disease; we carry pet toothbrushes and toothpaste for brushing the teeth. We also have “StrixNB”, an additive for the drinking water to help prevent gingivitis and canine and feline “Enzadent Chews”, which can all be used in a home care program to keep the teeth cleaner and healthier. We also have 2 diets (Hill's T/D and MediCal Dental Formula) that are available from veterinary clinics that slow the progression of dental disease and help to prevent the build up of dental tartar. 

What if I don’t have a dental done on my pet ?


In addition to the bad smell (halitosis), tartar and gingivitis can lead to tooth abscesses, loose or missing teeth, unwillingness to eat, and generalized mouth pain if left unattended.  It can also lead to more systemic (body-wide) diseases, such as bacterial infections which are carried through the bloodstream to the heart, kidneys and other organs.  Remember that animals “suffer in silence” with a painful mouth.  Think of how you feel with a toothache!

Why should I bring my pet to Best Friends Animal Hospital for dental cleanings?

Manitoba's only Dental Specialist works out of our clinic because our equipment, procedures and patient care meet those exacting standards of practice. Our staff are extensively trained to use our state-of-the-art equipment including surgical extractions, dental x-rays and laser therapy and patient care is of paramount concern to all our team members as well as aggressive pain management for all procedures. We are passionate about what we do and care about the health and well-being of your pet above all.