Arizona Skies Animal Hospital

Step 6: X-rays are taken to look for problems below the gums. This step is critical for giving the patient a pain free mouth. Anesthesia is required for X-rays. 

Step 9: Dr. Nelson probes and inspects the mouth. The results are recorded on a dental chart. If he had needed an extraction or other procedure, Dr. Nelson would perform it now after numbing the area with an injection of bupivicaine. 

Step 5: Sully receives his trach tube. He will receive oxygen and a gas anesthetic to keep him anesthetized for the procedure. 

Step 2: Prepare the patient's leg for an intravenous catheter by clipping the hair and numbing the skin with lidocaine gel. 

Step 4: Anesthesia begins with an injection of an anesthetic to allow intubation. 

Step 8: Sully has his teeth scaled and polished by Veterinary Technician, Erica, while Veterinary Assistant, Olivia, monitors his anesthesia. At Arizona Skies Animal Hospital, all anesthetized patients are monitored closely with a Surgivet Advanced monitoring system.  


Step 7: After examining the dental films, all of the tooth roots were healthy and no disease problems were found. Sully was lucky.

Step 3: Sully gets his intravenous catheter. He is relaxed and calm. He will get fluids and drugs through this catheter. 

Step 10: Sully recovers from anesthesia on a quilt. He will receive fluid therapy for two hours after anesthesia to protect his internal organs. 

Anesthesia-Free and Conscious Sedation Dental Cleanings 

Because of the risks associated with anesthesia, some pet parents are choosing to have 'anesthesia-free or conscious sedation' dental cleanings. Unfortunately, these types of cleanings often do more harm than good. In anesthesia-free procedures, tartar is chipped off the crowns followed by a quick polish. Nothing is done to diagnose or treat problems below the gum line. It is a cosmetic fix only that often creates more problems than it solves. Problems include: 1) Tooth root infections - Tartar is not removed from below the gum line. Tartar is also jammed below the gum line. 2) Aspiration pneumonia - Since the dog is usually lying on their back in the lap of the person removing the tartar, the dogs may aspirate the debris. 3) Pain and suffering - Dogs and cats suffer with painful dental problems because dental X-rays were not performed. Meanwhile, their owner thinks everything is fine because the crowns look clean. 4) Damaged enamel surface - The enamel surface of teeth is smooth to prevent bacteria from sticking and causing tartar. Cracking off tartar leaves rough areas behind. Without thorough polishing, the tartar will accumulate more quickly than before. 5) Tongue injuries - Awake animals move their tongues and are accidentally injured while precautions can be taken in an anesthetized animal to prevent injuries.

Conscious sedation is another technique used to alleviate fears over anesthesia. Unfortunately, it is also fraught with problems. Patients are not intubated which means the risk of aspirating water or debris from the cleaning is high. The patient may feel pain because they are sedated, not anesthetized. Even with local blocks, extraction of teeth and other dental procedures should never be performed as the patient will experience severe pain. If you love your pet, give them a complete oral health evaluation including dental X-rays and periodontal treatment to treat the entire mouth, both below and above the gum line. 


Step 1: After a physical examination, the patient receives an injection to control pain and reduce anxiety. 

The best care for your best friend!

a proper dental

with Sully, Dr. Nelson's dog.


  Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.                               Please call us at : (480) 488-3400