Independent & Family Owned

Preventative Dental Care is the Best Dental Care

The most effective way to combat dental disease is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Preventative dental care is just as important for cats and dogs as it is for us!  During your pet’s visit our veterinarians will counsel you on the best plan and products to keep you furry friend’s mouth fresh and clean!

Using these products can help prolong periods between professional dental cleanings.

a dog getting teeth checked

A Full Line of Veterinary Dental Services

Our dental services include…

  • Teeth Cleaning and Polishing
  • Tooth Extractions
  • Dental X-Rays
  • Oral Surgery

Ask the veterinarian during your pet’s annual exam if a routine dental cleaning is recommended for your pet.

Dental Cleanings and Extractions:
How Does it Work?

At Dupont Veterinary Clinic, we perform dental cleanings and tooth extractions Monday through Friday. Here are some things to know:

  • These services can be scheduled by our front office staff.
  • A deposit is required to reserve the appointment. The deposit will be applied to your pet’s dental procedure cost, refunded if canceled within 48 hours of making the appointment, or reapplied if rescheduled more than two business days prior to the appointment.
  • Schedule dental surgery as soon as possible to reserve your preferred day of the week. Availability is limited and we’re usually booked over a month in advance.
  • Dental cleanings are anesthetized procedures, meaning all pets must be fasted, starting at 10 p.m. the night before. Water is permitted.
  • All pets must have bloodwork completed within 3 months of their dental procedure. This will ensure that general anesthesia is a safe option and allow ample time to cancel or reschedule the appointment if necessary.
  • If your pet needs dental attention sooner than we’re able to provide it, please ask our front desk personnel to add you to our Dental Waiting List. If anyone cancels prior to your pet’s scheduled appointment, we will call you. Dental Waiting List questions? Call (202)466-2211

Is General Anesthesia Necessary for Dental Procedures?

As a pet owner, you might be concerned when anesthesia is required—and that’s natural. However, it’s important to understand that performing dental prophylaxis on an unanesthetized animal (NAD/NPDS) is inappropriate for a number of reasons (according to the American Veterinary Dental College):

  • Dental tartar firmly adheres to teeth’s surfaces. Scaling to remove tartar is accomplished using ultrasonic and sonic power scalers, plus hand instruments that must have sharp working edges to be used effectively. Even a slight head movement by the patient could result in injury to the oral tissues—and the operator may be bitten when the patient reacts.
  • Professional dental scaling includes scaling the surfaces of the teeth
    above and below the gingival margin (gum line), followed by dental polishing.
    The most critical part of a dental scaling procedure is scaling the tooth surfaces
    that are within the gingival pocket (the subgingival space between the gum and
    the root), where periodontal disease is active. Because human patients cooperate,
    dental scaling performed by a trained professional can be completed successfully without anesthesia. However, access to the subgingival area of every tooth is impossible in an unanesthetized canine or feline patient. Removal of dental tartar only on the visible surfaces of the teeth has little effect on a pet’s health and provides a false sense of accomplishment. The effect is purely cosmetic.
  • Inhalation anesthesia using a cuffed endotracheal tube provides three
    important advantages—the patient’s cooperation during a procedure it does not
    understand, elimination of pain resulting from examination and treatment of
    affected dental tissues during the procedure, and protection of the airway and
    lungs from accidental aspiration.
  • A complete oral examination, which is an important part of a professional
    dental scaling procedure, is not possible in an unanesthetized patient. The surfaces
    of the teeth facing the tongue cannot be examined, and areas of disease and
    discomfort are likely to be missed.

As you can see, anesthesia is a necessity for routine dental cleanings, tooth extractions, and oral surgery.


More Answers to Your Veterinary Dental Care Questions

Pet owners don’t often think about dental care for their best furry friends. It’s easy to overlook since our dogs and cats can’t communicate discomfort to us. But, when you do start to think about the importance of dental care, some questions might come up.

Is Anesthesia Safe for my Pet?

Safe use of an anesthetic or sedative in a dog or cat requires evaluation of the general health and size of the patient to determine the appropriate drug and dose. Continual monitoring of the patient is also necessary. Veterinarians are trained in all of these procedures.

Although anesthesia will never be 100% risk-free, modern anesthetic and patient evaluation techniques used in veterinary hospitals minimize the risks in millions of dental scaling procedures that are safely performed each year in veterinary hospitals.

Can Anesthesia be Administered to my Pet by Anyone?

Prescribing or administering anesthetic or sedative drugs by a non-veterinarian can be very dangerous and it’s illegal.

What’s the Best Way to Avoid Dental Procedures and Surgery?

To minimize the need for professional dental scaling procedures and to maintain optimal oral health, the AVDC recommends daily dental home care from an early age. This should include brushing or the use of other effective techniques, such as a dental diet and chew materials, to retard the accumulation of dental plaque. This, combined with periodic examination of the patient by a veterinarian and with dental scaling under anesthesia when indicated, will optimize lifelong oral health for dogs and cats.

Who can Perform Veterinary Dentistry?

In the United States and Canada, only licensed veterinarians can practice veterinary medicine. Veterinary medicine includes veterinary surgery and dentistry. Anyone providing dental services other than a licensed veterinarian or a supervised and trained veterinary technician is practicing veterinary medicine without a license and shall be subject to criminal charges.

Is Anesthesia-Free Dentistry for Pets Legitimate?

The AVDC prefers to use the term Non-Professional Dental Scaling (NPDS) to describe dental scaling procedures performed on pets without anesthesia.