Frequently Asked Questions - Natural Dental Cleaning

Q: Why is it important to have my pet’s teeth cleaned?

A: Just like humans, pets need their teeth cleaned too! Tartar and bacteria build up on the teeth and under the gumline and over time can infect the heart and kidneys and cause serious problems. Many of the heart murmurs we detect are from endocarditis secondary to poor oral health. Maintaining your pet’s oral health will help add to his longevity, quality of life, and overall happiness.


Q: How will you keep my pet calm during the dental cleaning procedure?

A: Robin Hungerford, our Natural Dental Cleaning Provider, works hard to establish a trusting relationship with your pet by using positive reinforcement and doing calming touch massage. Robin sits on the floor with your pet so she feels secure and safe. Smaller breed dogs and cats are lovingly wrapped in a blanket for the cleaning. Larger breeds of dogs can sit or stand—whichever makes them more comfortable and secure, and Robin will stand alongside them for their cleaning. All dental cleaning happens in a quiet and calming environment with minimal distractions to provide the best experience for your pet.


Q: What is the standard procedure for “natural dental cleaning”?

A: The appointment starts with a physical examination by Dr. Karen Mueller, who records the patient’s history, and charts his medical record. The natural dental cleaning will then be performed with a non-invasive ultrasonic scaler to carefully remove tartar above and below the gum line. This is followed by a thorough polish and an antiseptic rinse. If your pet is showing signs of dental disease or gum infection (gingivitis), Dr. Mueller can administer antibiotics. We also offer a variety of supportive care options including SQ fluids, B-Vitamins, and fluoride treatments.


Q: Can my pet eat or drink after the treatment?

A: Yes. Our natural dental cleanings are non-invasive and there are no restrictions before or afterwards. Patients may receive a snack or chew treat as a reward. The only exception is for patients receiving a fluoride treatment, when eating and drinking is delayed for 30 minutes.


Q: How often should I have my pet’s teeth cleaned?

A: We recommend having your pet’s teeth cleaned with us every 6 months to help keep tartar buildup to a minimum. Regular evaluations and dental cleaning help maintain optimal oral hygiene and gum health. Regularly scheduled cleaning also helps your pet become more familiar and comfortable with the process. Humans have a well-established cleaning time frame of twice a year--considering that dogs and cats age so much more quickly than us, and don’t usually get their teeth brushed, evaluating and cleaning every 6 months should be considered a conservative time frame for dental and oral care, especially if anesthetic is not used.


Q: Does anesthetic-free natural dental cleaning take the place of all anesthetized dentals in the future?

A: Not necessarily. Dr. Mueller and Robin will discuss their findings with you. If they see any need for further dental work or extractions, they will refer you to your veterinarian. Dr. Mueller and Robin believe in maintaining a close relationship with your family veterinarian and always have your pet’s best interest in mind. For additional information on natural dentistry or to schedule an appointment for your dog or cat please email us at