What is Ultrasonic Scaling?
Ultrasonic scaling is a dental procedure used to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of a dog’s teeth. It is typically part of a larger procedure that involves cleaning and polishing the dog’s teeth. Ultrasonic scaling can help alleviate signs of periodontal disease, including inflammation of the gums, bad breath, and yellow or discolored teeth. In severe cases of periodontal disease, the dog’s teeth may loosen, break, or fall out. The gums may also bleed and develop pus. Once the condition has reached this stage, it is considered irreversible. Prompt treatment of periodontal disease is imperative for minimizing the dog’s pain and ensuring the best possible prognosis.
Ultrasonic Scaling Procedure in Dogs
- The veterinary dentist will first perform a preliminary oral examination.
- Blood work will be done to ensure anesthetization is safe for the dog.
- General anesthesia or sedatives are administered, and another, more thorough oral examination is carried out. If underlying disease is suspected, the dentist may also take x-rays.
- An ultrasonic scaler is used to remove plaque and tartar from the visible dental surfaces above the gum line.
- Other tools will be used to remove plaque and tartar below the gum line.
- The teeth are then polished.
- Additional dental procedures are performed at this time as needed.
- Dental abnormalities are recorded on your dog’s dental record.
Efficacy of Ultrasonic Scaling in Dogs
Ultrasonic scaling is a routine dental procedure that is very effective for removing tartar and plaque found on the surface of the teeth. It may be used to remove plaque and tartar from an exposed root of a tooth. Ultrasonic scaling does not remove plaque and tartar below the gum line. However, removing plaque and tartar from beneath the gum line is also part of a routine dental cleaning.
Ultrasonic Scaling Recovery in Dogs
Dogs do not typically need to recover from ultrasonic scaling since it is a routine procedure. You will need to monitor your dog carefully for a few hours after the procedure as the effects of the anesthesia wear off. Antibiotics may be prescribed to dogs with periodontal disease. You should brush your dog’s teeth daily, in addition to scheduling regular dental checkups, to minimize the risk of periodontal disease. Follow-up appointments may be required for dogs with severe dental conditions. Dogs with periodontal disease will need to attend a follow-up appointment one month after scaling. If proper dental care has been employed, these appointments will be reduced to once every six months.
Cost of Ultrasonic Scaling in Dogs
The cost of ultrasonic scaling may vary based on standards of living and additional treatment costs incurred. The average price of ultrasonic scaling, including polishing, is $100. However, the cost of a full dental checkup, including the cost of anesthesia, x-rays, blood tests, and postprocedural medications, ranges from $500 to $900.
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Dog Ultrasonic Scaling Considerations
Ultrasonic scaling is a safe, routine procedure that presents few complications. However, complications can arise with any procedure. Complications of ultrasonic scaling may include:
- Thermal injury to the gums
- Allergic reaction to the anesthesia
Ultrasonic Scaling Prevention in Dogs
Although it is preventable, periodontal disease is the most common dental disease in dogs. Practice daily oral hygiene by brushing your dog’s teeth each day. This will also make it easier to identify signs of periodontal disease. Chew toys, rawhide bones, and a special diet can also help minimize plaque and tartar. Always monitor your dog when it is playing with a chew toy. Never give your dog animal bones, as these may create a choking hazard.