Thursday, July 16, 2015

Teeth Cleaning

Yesterday, Maya had an appointment for anesthesia-free teeth cleaning. 

In general, she has pretty clean teeth, except for her silver tooth (see the story about her fractured tooth). Maybe she chews with that tooth less, or maybe because the texture is different, it somehow always has plaque built up on it. A few months ago, I also noticed a chip in her other premolar. Although it looks fine, I really do want a profession opinion. 

Maya's dirty silver tooth before the cleaning

I have a few options, an office visit to the pet dentist will cost about $100+, which the doctor will likely suggest a teeth cleaning, which will be another $800+, and run the risk of putting her under anesthesia. Another option is to try the anesthesia-free teeth cleaning, which costs $175, and includes a checkup by the vet. If the cleaning isn't needed or not suitable, I will only need to pay $25 for the vet visit. Price-wise and risk-wise, it's a no-brainer.

However, I also heard that the procedure could be very stressful and painful for the pet, so we need to take that into consideration as well. Since Maya has always been good when I brush her teeth and the spots that needed cleaning is limited, I believed she would be able to tolerate it. 

On the day of the appointment, after filling out some paper work and briefly going through her broken tooth and chipped tooth issues, Maya was taken to the back of the room and I was told to come back in 20 minutes. When I came back, I was surprised to see Maya wrapped in a towel, lying calmly in between the hygienist's legs. She wiggled a bit once in a while, but no signs of struggling or trembling. When it's done, she jumped right up and greeted me with a wagging tail, so I guess she was fine. Not a great experience, but at least not traumatizing.

During the cleaning

After the cleaning, we got some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that besides the chipped tooth I noticed, Maya actually chipped like 10 teeth. We know she's a heavy chewer, but we didn't expect it to be this bad. The good news is that the chips are all on the surface so nothing harmful as long as we prevent further damage. Well, no bones for her anymore! They also said I did a pretty good job keeping her teeth clean, and the super expensive sliver tooth was nicely made.

Overall, it was a good experience and the price was reasonable. I hope I can keep up with the cleaning and pay extra attention to the silver tooth, so we no longer need this type of service. If she ever do need teeth cleaning again, I will definitely pick this over putting her under anesthesia. However, I still want to point out that this may not be suitable for every dog. Especially those who don't like to be handled, hate teeth brushing, or have lots of cleaning needed. 

Anyways, very proud of my little girl!   

Her silver tooth after cleaning

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