West Ridge Animal Hospital is an American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accredited hospital. This AAHA accreditation means we have chosen to voluntarily live up to a list of over 900 standards. Some of the dental health standards that we comply with include: sterilized instruments for each patient, performing local nerve blocks before extractions are done, surgical extractions of the teeth, advanced periodontal care to save teeth, and full mouth digital dental radiographs of every dental patient on a yearly basis, just as human dentists recommend.
Very few veterinary hospitals in the area provide this level of care in their dental packages. Complying with AAHA standards also means advanced monitoring of dental anesthesia, including blood pressure, carbon dioxide and oxygen levels, and a constant EKG tracing. Placing an intravenous catheter and providing IV fluids during the procedure are essential to the safety of the patient. This allows us to treat low blood pressure, to administer drugs immediately intravenously, and to aid in the rapid removal of the anesthetic medications from the body.
Our dental procedures include pre-operative blood testing, general anesthesia, a complete oral exam, tooth scaling, root planing, sub-gingival curettage, polishing, and full mouth dental radiographs. Procedures and/or treatment beyond this may include surgical exactions, advanced periodontal techniques, local anesthetic blocks, pain management injections, antibiotic injections or gel placement, medications to go home, and home care dental plans. All of our dental patients receive a no charge follow-up appointment within 1-2 weeks, and are encouraged to take advantage of complimentary dental visits throughout the year to assess oral health.
The best way to perform a dental procedure is not the cheapest or least expensive way. Occasionally, you may see a veterinary clinic offering “anesthesia-free” teeth cleanings – these procedures are not accepted by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the facilities are usually served with a “cease and desist” order from the AVMA, as simply scraping the tartar from the teeth mobilizes bacteria in the bloodstream, does not address severe disease under the gumline, and creates grooves in the tooth, which can actually worsen the accumulation of plaque and tartar in the mouth. We encourage clients to come and observe an entire dental from start to finish in order to better understand the procedure of a dental cleaning. Please speak with a staff member if you have any questions about dental care in your pet.