After the cleaning procedure you should expect some soreness and a bit of pain for the next few hours after the procedure.
Your vet will ask for a follow-up visit to check for any signs of infection or discomfort. He may prescribe pain killers, a suitable diet, and at-home oral care to make sure your pet’s oral health remains the same.

Before the Procedure

Your vet would go over your dog’s medical records with you and do a full physical evaluation. Your veterinarian will discuss with you about your pet’s teeth cleaning or scaling, oral probing, oral x-rays, and other treatments in order to detect and address the underlying oral health issues. They’ll also polish your pet’s teeth for a sparkling white happy smile!

Your vet would help you by providing directions, but you’d be requested to restrict foods to your dog the night before the surgery to decrease the possibility that he might vomit. The suggested time depends on your dog’s age, pre-existing health problems, and any prescriptions they are undergoing. [1]

Did you Know?

Smaller dog breeds have more dental issues as compared to large breeds

Preparing for the Cleaning

To ensure that your pet is strong enough for local anesthesia, your veterinarian will perform blood tests and, in certain cases, urine. It may involve an additional visit a few days prior to the treatment. You could also be given instructions to keep your pet on a light diet a few days before cleaning.

You must also ensure that you will be available for the process (not having a busy schedule for some days, for instance). Dental checkups are conducted before dental cleanings, and veterinarians prefer to address any abnormalities discovered in that same appointment, if suitable, to reduce stress for the pet. This involves asking you to seek your permission for any necessary procedures, as well as the additional price on your account.

During the Cleaning

Dogs must be sedated throughout their dental treatment in order to achieve the optimal diagnosis and oral treatment. Anesthesia is required because it helps your dog to remain calm when your veterinarian examines the complete dentition (even below the gingival margin), takes x-rays (to check for any “hidden problems”), and cleans your dog’s teeth thoroughly and securely.

It also guarantees that your dog has a relaxing and secured experience by lowering their anxiety, distress, and discomfort levels. Also, it prevents their throat from any liquid or particles that would otherwise work their way downwards into their respiratory system during the process due to scraping off the oral plaque.

Plan to arrive on time at the veterinarian facility to ease your dog in to undergo their pre-anesthesia examination. “Pre-meds” might be given by your veterinarian (medicines that could help a lot in minimizing fear, discomfort, vomiting, and also the number of other medications required for the general anesthesia). Your vet might even prescribe medicine to assist your canine to avoid vomiting and get back to eating fast as possible once the dental work on dogs is performed. [2]

Your veterinarian will scrape plaque and tartar from your pet’s teeth and buff them after the scraping process. They’ll also examine for pockets of inflammation all around dentinal tubules and in the gums with an oral probe (similar to the ones dentists use on humans). It allows them to examine the oral tendons and skeletal structures underneath the gingival margin for health and strength. [3]

Oral x-rays might well be required to properly assess your dog’s teeth and gums and to ensure that no “buried” condition is existing and ready to seriously affect (like resorbed enamel roots or developing root surface abscesses) your pet. If your vet discovers an impacted tooth, extractions (tooth removal) or other surgeries may be recommended. [4] [5]

The veterinarian will look for cavities, symptoms of gingivitis, and other dental diseases or malignancies. As canines are unable to communicate about their mouth condition, dental checkups for pets must be more detailed, which may include x-rays. [6]

On top of any appropriate treatment, such as fixing cavities or removing a tooth, the veterinarian would use a mix of powered and traditional de-scaling instruments to eliminate any filth above and underneath the gingival margin.

Buffing the teeth removes any leftover bacteria and provides a smooth surface to the enamel, making it less likely for food particles to cling to the enamel for a long time. The cleaning is finished with a thorough rinse. During the treatment, a breathing device that supplies the anesthesia also prevents your pet from swallowing anything.

Did you Know?

During the cleaning procedure, a specialist will keep monitoring your pet’s vital signs for safety

What Happens After the Cleaning

After your canine’s oral treatment, your vet or medical assistant will go through everything that has been done during the surgery with you. Your veterinarian may provide or prescribe antibiotics if your dog seems to have inflammation or if they have an underlying disorder that could cause infection. [7]

Canines may not show discomfort, but they are aware of it. So, keep your dog occupied with play sessions and activities for a few hours after their dental procedure. It could be a good way to divert their attention away from their pain. Pain medicines could be prescribed as a result of the infection and pain that might occur after a dental operation. [8]

Your veterinarian might prescribe the following:

  • Pain medication
  • Antibiotics
  • Suitable dental diet
  • Prescribed dental chews
  • Suggested toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Dental pads or wipes

If any tooth removal surgery was performed, your veterinarian might recommend that you feed only wet food for a few weeks after the treatment to help the removal areas to recover as soon as possible.

If any tooth removal surgery was performed, your veterinarian might recommend that you feed only wet food for a few weeks after the treatment to help the removal areas to recover as soon as possible.

If extractions are performed — and also, if they are not — a follow-up session could be required a week or two later to verify that everything is recovering and functioning smoothly and effectively. Most canines are allowed to go home straight after surgery but check with your veterinarian to see if your pet needs to be kept in his crate during his healing stage.

You might observe lethargy, drooling, or tiredness for many hours after your dog is discharged from the clinic as you bring him home. He would generally return to his conscious state the same evening and act like his normal self (sometimes even better, since the pain caused by their tooth and gum condition is no longer there!) by the next morning. If you have any concerns, don’t wait to contact your veterinarian for help.

An anesthetic oral treatment performed by your vet would be just another step toward ensuring your dog’s oral health. Following the surgery, your veterinarian will discuss the safest ways of at-home oral care. Canines that have experienced oral issues for a long time with showing any signs might appear more happy, calm, and energetic. [9]

Did you Know?

Tartar below the gum line can even damage your pet’s jaw bone

How Long Does a Dog Dental Cleaning Take?

A dental cleaning could take up to 45 to 75 minutes, depending on the condition of your dog’s oral health, the X-ray results, and the amount of calculus in your pet’s mouth. A dog is normally put under sedation for 60 to 95 minutes for tooth cleaning. The anesthetic dose may last for 15 to 20 minutes after the procedure has been completed.

Dog Teeth Cleaning Aftercare

  1. Rest Up
  2. Food and Water
  3. Antibiotics and Pain Killers
  4. Home Dental Care
  5. Check for Signs of Postoperative Complications

1. Rest Up

After treatment, provide a peaceful, safe, and pleasant atmosphere for your dog to sleep in. It will aid in the recovery process. Within the next few hours, your dog would start to gain consciousness from the anesthesia, although it may take up to 48 hours to completely heal. Your dog could appear tired and have a lack of hunger throughout this period. If he’s still lethargic, distracted, or starving beyond 24 hours, contact your veterinarian immediately. [10]

2. Food and Water

Before bringing your dog back, discuss a postoperative diet with your veterinarian. He will usually require a light meal 2 hours post-treatment. Based on the treatment, he might have to stop eating hard kibble and snacks for several days till he has fully recovered.

You can offer kibble that has been soaked in water or moist canned food. Some dogs may require a complete liquid diet for a fixed period of time. Encourage him to start sipping water as quickly as practical on a daily basis as water is important in the recovery period. During the initial few days post his treatment, if your dog isn’t eating, is scratching his mouth, or displaying other symptoms of pain, call your veterinarian right now. [11]

3. Antibiotics and Pain Killers

After his treatment, your vet will give you some pain medicines to take home. Before bringing your dog home, talk to your veterinarian dentist in-depth about those pain relief medications, and make sure to follow the recommendations on the prescription during at-home care. If your dog refuses to take his pain medicines at home, call your vet to discuss a better approach to feed him his medicines.

4. Home Dental Care

After a thorough dental cleaning treatment, your vet might just have prescribed strong dental treats or a dental diet to help maintain the teeth in a healthy state. Your veterinarian would advise you to wait for a week before providing these to your dog. This is also applicable while cleaning your pet’s teeth. [12]

A week after the procedure is best to start brushing your pet’s teeth as doing it before can cause pain in their gums and teeth. The last step is to train your dog to help you in brushing their teeth.

5. Check for Signs of Postoperative Complications

When your dog has woken up from sedation and is having a (largely) regular diet, it’s essential to keep checking his recovery if he develops an infection. Your dog may not show any symptoms of discomfort even he is suffering. After the oral procedure, there are a few mild symptoms of discomfort to watch out for. Give your vet a call if you see the following symptoms in your dog:

  • He can consume hard foods now, but he is avoiding it
  • No interest in his beloved chew toys
  • Dropping items from his mouth while chewing
  • Angry or uncomfortable reaction when being touched on the mouth
  • Halitosis
  • He paws at his face or rubs it against furniture or his toys
  • Excessive drooling
  • There is inflammation or bleeding near the affected area
  • Eye drainage
  • Eyes are puffy and swollen


Your dog’s teeth cleaning procedure might not be the easiest thing for you or your pet, but it is essential for maintaining their overall dental health. Your vet will thoroughly examine your pet before any procedure, take several tests, analyze the dental situation and then perform it under anesthesia. You need to take care of your pet after the procedure is completed and check for any complications or signs of discomfort. In case you observe any unusual symptoms, it is best to consult your vet immediately.