Veterinary Service

Pet Dentistry

Dentistry is one of the most important areas of veterinary medicine. Dr. Cousin and Dr. Boyajan, our veterinarians, have both received extensive training in veterinary dentistry. A pet’s health can be greatly affected by disease in their mouth. Periodontal disease can lead to disease of many organs in the body if left untreated.

Pet Dentistry

Innovative Dentistry services including dental x-ray, cleaning, and tooth extractions.

dog's dental exam

Pet Dentistry

Taking your pet to Skycrest Animal Hospital is just like going to the dentist! All dogs and cats receive full mouth dental radiographs as part of their dental procedure. These x-rays of the teeth detect changes that are not visible to the naked eye, just as your dentist will take x-rays of your mouth. The radiographs are even more important in pets because they cannot tell us they have a toothache! Our clinic has state of the art digital dental x-ray capabilities to ensure the most accurate picture of your pet’s mouth.

We then carefully clean each tooth -above and below the gumline, examine for any issues, do a full oral exam and polish the teeth!We will also monitor their anesthesia very closely to make sure that the dog or cat remains safe while undergoing their dental procedure. If treatment is needed based on the oral examination and x-ray findings, we give numbing and pain medications and treat any needed problems in the mouth.

X-Ray Dental
Dental Dog

In preparation for your dental consultation or dental procedure please read through what to expect for each step of the way:

Pre-Surgical Consultation
We will discuss the procedure at an examination. Sometimes, this is during your pet’s annual visit or other examination when we notice the issue. For others, your regular veterinarian or a friend has recommended our facility. During this initial appointment, we will do a thorough examination, including looking into your pet’s mouth. Some pets appreciate this more than others, so the information we gather may be fairly limited. Based on this superficial look in the mouth, we will discuss what we expect. It is often difficult to tell just by the examination, and we will find out much more about your pet’s dental health during the procedure when we probe and take dental radiographs. We will also discuss if any health concerns in your pet’s history or exam will affect their anesthetic risk.
We will also recommend a bloodwork panel based on your pet’s health history and age that will be performed before any anesthetized procedure. This is often done at the same time as your initial visit.

You will go home with an approximate estimate for the procedure based on the information from the exam. We try to provide a wide range to account for any dental health issues we may find. We normally will not call you during the procedure unless there are very unexpected findings. We do this to ensure that the patients are not subject to any prolonged anesthesia time and that we have discussed everything without the stress of the procedure.

You will feed him as usual the night before your pet’s dental appointment. You will pick up the food bowl at bedtime or midnight (whichever is sooner), but leave water available. In the morning, you will not give your pet breakfast (even if he looks pathetically sad and hungry) because fasting will make anesthesia safer.

Arrival at Hospital

When you arrive at the hospital, you and your pet will be warmly greeted and weighed. Our staff will review the procedure/anesthesia consent forms with you, answering any questions. We will then escort your pet to the treatment area, where we will check his heart, temperature, and respiratory rate.

After this your pet will be placed in a cage. Pets that seem nervous may be premedicated during this time to make them more comfortable, but most pets settle down quickly once they are placed onto a comfortable padded bed or towel.

Anesthesia Safety & Preparation
Before any procedure a systems check is done of the anesthesia machine and endotracheal tube. An appropriate anesthesia/pain management protocol is determined for each individual pet based on that pet’s needs. We understand that each pet is different, and we are prepared to meet your pet’s special needs. This often includes pain medication and other relaxing or anxiety-decreasing agents. At this time, an IV is placed into a leg vein. One or more areas are shaved for this process. Anesthesia is induced with injectable drugs that help your pet go to sleep quickly and peacefully, at which time an endotracheal tube is inserted into the trachea (breathing tube inserted into the windpipe). The tube is checked for placement, and the pet is connected to gas anesthesia and oxygen that will keep them asleep during the procedure.

We then place monitoring equipment that will continuously monitor heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, temperature, and oxygen saturation.


After your pet is safely asleep, we begin our full mouth digital dental radiographs (xrays). After the veterinarian reviews the radiographs, she and the technician together go through the entire mouth taking measurements of the pockets around each tooth (just like at your human dental appointments). If your pet has any teeth that are broken or infected or have any deep pockets (over 4 mm in dogs), we will normally move forward with our treatment plan. Many pets do have significant enough dental issues that they will have at least one tooth extraction. If extractions are needed, the veterinarian will likely perform a nerve block (numbing) of the area and open up the gum tissue to access the roots of the teeth. After extraction, absorbable stitches are used to close the area. Additional pain injections are often given at this time.

After the veterinarian addresses whatever dental disease is present, the veterinary technician will finish up with ultrasonic scaling that removes calculus and plaque from the tooth and under the gumline and polishing aka making your pet’s teeth sparkly clean and their gums healthy too!

When the procedure is complete, we turn off the anesthesia and make sure the pet is recovering well. Once they are starting to wake up, they are removed from the dental table and placed in a recovery area where they can be observed until fully awake. We will usually watch patients for a few hours to make sure they are doing well and their pain is controlled. We will call you after they are awake to go over how everything went and to finalize a time for pick up.

After a few hours, the IV is removed and many pets require a little bit of cleaning up after a dental procedure. For pets that have dental extractions, we will usually send home pain medications. For pets without extractions this is usually not necessary. The veterinarian will discuss everything with you at the time of pick up and the technicians will go over all of our discharge instructions fully. We also send you home a typed copy.

Your pet may be sleepy the day following anesthesia, but almost all pets are back to their old selves (except with a healthier, happier mouth!) two days after the procedure. As a matter of fact, we can’t tell you the number of times we have spoken to the owner of a dental patient a few weeks later and heard, “He is acting like a puppy again!”