As for our own dental health, home care including the types of food fed, and use of toothpastes & brushing are the best way to avoid development of problems.
However, most pets do at some point in their life need to visit the vet for dental treatment. In our pets this must almost always be carried out under general anaesthesia.
We use ultrasonic scalers as well as hand instruments, high speed compressed air driven drills, and a lower speed polisher - all very similar to the equipment in our own dentist's surgeries.
At our main hospital in Barnet, we also have the facility to obtain dental xrays using a digital sensor which allows us to save these images with the rest of your pets records, or send them to a specialist for their opinion if we wish.
Most dental treatments which include extraction of teeth will also now have local anaesthetics injected into the gums (again like us, though our pets have the advantage of being asleep for this- something a lot of people would prefer!). After extraction of teeth the sockets are usually sutured with a gum flap to close any gap and allow the mouth to heal quickly.
Our pets are generally pretty brave, and we aim to provide excellent analgesia both during and after the operation, so even after having several teeth extracted we hope to have them eating normally the following day.