Contact River Road Pet Clinic Today - Tucson's Best Specialty Vet
(520) 577-3100
5655 E River Rd #171
Tucson, AZ 85750


Pet Dental Care in Tucson Arizona from River Road Pet ClinicOral disease is the most common ailment found in pets. Bacteria from the teeth and gums can damage the heart, lungs, kidneys and liver. Our 12-step professional dental cleaning includes scaling, polishing, and fluoride treatment. We are experienced in digital dental x-rays, barrier sealants, extractions, and advanced oral surgery.

View and Download the 12 Steps PDF

The Twelve Steps of Pet Dental Care

Many of the “old age” problems we deal with in companion animals can be traced back to poor oral health. If your pet has tartar build-up, redness where tooth meets gum line, or breath that is no longer “ Minty Fresh” please call us at 577-3100 to schedule an evaluation. Our top quality dental services can add years of health and comfort to your pets’ life.

We have devised a twelve-step prophylaxis to give our patients the maximum benefit in dentistry. Some pets may require more or different procedures based on our complete oral exam, which is performed once the animal is under anesthesia. Also included in our Dental Package is a free follow up appointment with a trained technician that will show you how to maintain your pet’s mouth in top condition. (Please see the information under Surgery for our safety protocols when pets are placed under anesthesia.)

Ready to Get Started? Click Here!


Step 1: Extraction forceps are used to remove the gross calculus (tartar) from the crown (visible portion of the tooth).

Step 2: Prohylaxis- An ultrasonic dental scaler is used, similar to what is used for human dental cleanings. The “beaver tail” tip is used for general cleaning. It is a wide tipped scaler used to remove tartar and plaque from the crown of the tooth.

Step 3: A hand held (non mechanical) scaler is used to removed debris trapped between teeth and under the gum line. This step is crucial to a proper cleaning as debris under the gumline is the main cause of gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Step 4: An “ultra fine detail” ultrasonic tip is used. This tip uses a slower ultrasonic speed and is safe for use under the gumline. This removes any residual debris and loose particles from under the gum line. The vibration on the ultrasonic helps to stimulate the gums, which allows the gums to begin the repair of minor gingivitis.

Step5: A “Moorse” scaler (non mechanical) is used to remove debris stuck in the grooves of the pets teeth.

Step 6: A Dental probe is used to measure all four sides of each tooth for any pockets or gum recession. Deep pockets are signs of unhealthy gums and teeth. Dental radiographs are usually needed to evaluate these teeth for possible extraction.

Step 7: Dental radiographs allow us to look at the root structure, bone structure and placement of the teeth under the gumline. Further treatment may be needed for the pet, which may not have been detected without radiographs.

Step 8: Polishing- The mechanical removal of Plaque and calculus causes microscopic roughening of the tooth . These rough spots create a place for bacteria and plaque to adhere to and restart tartar formation. High grit polishing paste with fluoride is applied liberally to all surfaces of each tooth. A mechanical polisher is then used to smooth the crown and the tooth just above the gumline.

Step 9: Lavage. Scaling and polishing will cause a lot of debris to become trapped in the pockets of the oral cavity. The mouth is gently flushed to rid the area of excess polish, and debris.

Step 10: Antibiotics- All pets are given an injection of antibiotics at the start of the procedure. Pets with severe periodontal disease may need more treatment then routine antibiotic therapy. An antibiotic “cement” is applied under the gumline in areas of severe disease. This antibiotic attaches to the tooth surface and stays in place for 2-4 weeks. This provides topical antibiotics directly at the location that needs it most.

Step 11: Charting. All pertinent findings and treatment rendered are charted and placed in the patients permanent medical record. A copy of this chart will be sent home with you for your records as well. Any teeth removed, broken, discolored, or needing to be monitored for possible removal at a later date are all charted. The locations of doxirobe “the antibiotic cement” are also recorded.

Step 12: Ora Vet- A barrier sealant is a wax like substance that is applied to the teeth following a complete dental cleaning. OraVet creates a smooth, invisible barrier that makes it harder for plaque and tartar forming bacteria from reattaching to the teeth.


Ready to Get Started? Click Here!