Important information if your pet is coming for a dental

No food after 7pm, the previous evening and allow only a modest drink (if wanted) in the morning.

Please arrive between 8am and 8.45am
Please toilet your pet before arrival (dogs)

Dental Treatment at Oak Tree Vet Centre


Both puppies and kittens are born without teeth and they gradually acquire their first or deciduous teeth within the first few weeks. At around four months the adult teeth start to push through leading to the expulsion of the deciduous set. It is important that these teeth are lost as their retention can lead to overcrowding and poor alignment of the adult teeth. The most common problem is retained deciduous canine or “eye” teeth, where food and debris collects between the redundant and permanent tooth leading to premature damage.

Maintaining dental health in your pet is partly a matter of good “dental genes” and partly a result of your management. We recommend feeding the majority of cats and dogs on a predominantly dry diet. This provides a mechanical crunch to keep the teeth clean. In addition many pets will allow and come to enjoy having their teeth brushed with a purpose designed veterinary toothpaste like CET paste available in a variety of flavours. This is best started at the puppy or kitten stage so that it becomes part of the daily routine. An alternative to active brushing is the use of a paste called Dentisept, which uses the saliva to distribute it to all areas in the mouth. In addition, providing foods to chew such as rawhide chews, fibrous meat such as shin or using dental products such as Rasks can all help reduce dental deterioration and put off for many years the need for active intervention, on our part.

  • Dental deterioration
  • Dental treatment for your pet
  • The consent form
  • The operation
  • Going Home
  • Care of dental patients
  • Check up
  • Contacting us if you are worried
We recognise 4 stages of dental deterioration: 1) Plaque builds up on the teeth, along the gum line and over time changes into hard yellowish tartar deposits known as calculus. The gums are not inflamed, there is no pain or odour. 2) Over time, more extensive tartar build up on all teeth causes gingivitis (reddening of the gums) and some odour but no pain. 3) If neglected the tartar causes the gums to recede, exposing the tooth roots leading to infection. The breath starts to become offensive and there will be some pain whilst eating. 4) This progresses to a largely hopeless situation for the teeth where their roots are so exposed, the teeth become loose and grossly infected. There is a foul odour and infected, inflamed gums. At this point, the cat or dog will be feeling ill and will not be able to eat properly, although a normal quantity of food may be consumed. Extractions will be inevitable. Our aim is to catch cases at stage 2 before permanent damage is done but it is all too common to be presented with a patient well into stage 4 with the bad breath and general malaise simply put down to “old age”. We always examine your pet’s teeth as part of our full clinical examination but would encourage you to look yourself, from time to time. We are always happy to advise on all dental matters.
Normally dental treatment is advised during a consultation and we recommend pre and post dental treatment with antibiotics to cut down the number of bacteria in the mouth, which are potentially able to enter the bloodstream before and during treatment. We can perform routine dental work each week day and given a little notice we can usually accommodate a specific day, to suit your schedule. We shall ask you to withhold food from 7pm. the night before as it is important that your pet has an empty stomach for dental work. We open at 8am. and normally admit day patients up to 9am but again we shall try to accommodate a later admittance if it helps you. Many pets requiring dentistry are fully healthy but given that most dental work is performed on older patients, thought should be given to performing a pre anaesthetic blood screen which may bring to light any medical problems not evident on physical examination alone. An extended blood screen for all animals costs £51.96. Please ask for further details. As is routine in human hospitals, we can provide intravenous fluid support, “a drip”, for our patients. We believe this benefits all pets and allows them to make a stronger and speedier recovery. You may request this service on the consent form at a cost of £36.95.
We shall ask you, or an authorised adult, for written permission to perform the dental treatment on your pet. We make time to guide you through the consent form so that we can explain any terms that you do not understand or are worried about.
All pets undergoing surgery at Oak Tree Vet Centre have an analgesic (painkiller) as part of their premedication, so that they are more comfortable and therefore less frightened when they wake up. We allocate each pet a pen within our day care kennels, which are situated within our central preparation room. The pens are warm and sound insulated and each has a lightweight polyester fleece for warmth and comfort. All animals are within sight of the operating team, allowing prompt intervention, if required. Following induction of anaesthesia, all dental cases are intubated to protect their airway and maintained via a modern gas anaesthetic system featuring sevoflurance, the latest and considered the best anaesthetic gas. All anaesthetised patients are monitored throughout, by the nurse under the constant supervision of the veterinary surgeon. A special sponge is placed in the back of the mouth to prevent any material or fluids from running down the throat. The teeth are then scaled, which removes all the tartar and other debris and allows a proper assessment of each tooth to be made. At this point, teeth which are beyond salvage are extracted. The mouth is then thoroughly flushed to remove debris. Once the teeth are cleaned, they are polished. All dental scalers leave the tooth enamel roughened and it is imperative that this is polished smooth, to delay the attachment of fresh plaque and tartar. The patient is then allowed to come round, under close supervision.
We are as flexible as we can be, regarding sending your pet home and we do not have to discharge animals prematurely as we have ample comfortable accommodation for them. When you collect your pet we shall give you full verbal, practical and where necessary, written instructions on post operative care. We shall reiterate the simple but important point: If you are worried – phone us for advice. Please see the panel on emergency care.
Many patients, even those who have had multiple extractions are ready and happy to take their regular food straight away but it is sensible to have available a small meal of soft diet for the first evening in case the mouth is still tender. The nurse will advise you as to what is suitable.
We normally provide a check up seven days after the dental treatment, to check that all tissues within the mouth have healed.
Please phone us on 0131 539 7539 in the first instance. Please have a pen and paper ready to write down the phone number, if ringing out of normal reception hours. Please do not arrive at the surgery without telephoning first. This will lead to delay in treating your pet as the veterinary surgeon may not be there to see you.

*n.b. all fees correct at time of writing. E.&O.E.

We know that even the most minor operation may cause you considerable anxiety. We shall keep you involved all the way and we assure you that we shall give your pet individual and caring attention.