Hoover gets her teeth cleaned at Bemidji Veterinary Hospital

Meet Hoover. She is a 5-year-old Greyhound, who is going to walk you through what a dental procedure looks like here at our Hospital. Hoover is the sweetest girl who came all the way from the East Coast to live here with her mom. Like many dogs, Hoover’s breath had a strong odor to it, so before her procedure today, her owner brought her in for a complete evaluation from one of our doctors. She also had her blood drawn for a full lab workup to make sure her liver, kidneys, and other vital organs were functioning properly and that she was healthy. Did you know that all pets are at risk for developing dental problems, so it is important to have their teeth examined every 6 to 12 months by a veterinarian to detect problems early on? Have your pet’s teeth checked sooner if you observe any of the following problems at home:

  • bad breath
  • broken or loose teeth
  • extra teeth or retained baby teeth
  • teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
  • abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food
  • reduced appetite or refusal to eat
  • pain in or around the mouth
  • bleeding from the mouth
  • swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth
Hoover waits patiently in one of our spacious kennels before her procedure.

Hoover started the day here today with another exam from Dr. Piller, where he listened to her lungs and heart. She was then placed under anesthesia and an IV catheter was placed in her leg. Once under anesthesia, a full set of oral radiographs were taken to evaluate her entire mouth. Without x-rays, over 50% of the tooth is not being evaluated.

Hoover is comfortable under anesthesia, being watched closely by our Veterinary Technicians and Assistants, and kept warm under a blanket while full-mouth radiographs are taken
A complete picture of the tooth is seen by our state-of-the-art x-ray machine. With these images, doctors are able to asses any potential issues below the gumline.

Next, Hoover’s teeth were cleaned. A dental cleaning includes scaling (to remove dental plaque and tartar) and polishing, similar to the process used on your teeth during your regular dental cleanings. During the procedure, the doctor will probe the gumline looking for periodontal pockets, and asses the radiographs for the necessity of extractions. If extractions are needed (Hoover didn’t have any today), we use local anesthesia in the mouth of your pet to ensure their comfort while recovering. Our doctors will also utilize oral surgery techniques that may result in sutures in your pet’s gums. These are not removed. They will dissolve over time. Without dental care, periodontal disease will occur. It is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats. The presence of plaque under the gum line can be easily removed with a dental cleaning. Left behind, it will change to tartar. This leads to infection and damage to the bone and ligament that hold teeth in place.

Hoover having her teeth scaled and polished by one of our Certified Veterinary Technicians, Emily.
A before and after of Hoover’s teeth

After the procedure, Hoover was placed in our oxygen kennel and monitored closely to make sure there were no complications as she woke up from the anesthesia. She spent the remainder of the day resting comfortably in our hospital, as she waited for her mom to pick her up. All of our dental procedures are same-day procedures, so when you leave your pet with us in the morning, they will go home the same afternoon. We watch them closely from the time they check in, until the time that they go home. We will also make recommendations when they are discharged based on their own individual needs and guide you in creating a routine you can do at home to fight off tartar and gum disease between professional cleanings.

Hoover awake and resting comfortably in the hospital ward following her procedure.

February is National Pet Dental Health Month. Bemidji Veterinary Hospital is offering 10% off of our Dental cleaning services all month long. Thank you for coming with Hoover today as she shared her dental procedure from start to finish. Give us a call today and let us help you take the first steps in ensuring a healthy mouth, and healthy pet for years to come.

What's Next

  • 1

    Call us or schedule an appointment online.

  • 2

    Meet with a doctor for an initial exam.

  • 3

    Put a plan together for your pet.