Frequently Asked Questions
CONSENT FORM: We will ask that you sign an anesthesia consent form for anesthesia prior to checking in your pet for a dental procedure. A cost estimate will also be provided for you to sign at the time of procedure check-in.
DROP-OFF TIMES: Procedure check-in is typically from 8:15-8:45 a.m., but please let us know if you need to arrange alternate times. Admitting your pet early in the day ensures adequate time for procedure preparation. This includes, but is not limited to: preoperative physical exam, bloodwork, pre-anesthetic injections, drug dose calculations, IV catheter placement, fluid administration, etc. Please allow 10-15 minutes to check in, double check your contact information, and sign the consent form and estimate.
FASTING: It is OK to leave water out for your pet overnight, but please withhold food after midnight on the evening before your pet’s procedure, OR as otherwise directed. This is for your pet’s safety on the day of the procedure, particularly to reduce the risk of regurgitating food intraoperatively. (Please note – diabetic patients, and patients with seizure disorder or other medical conditions may receive different feeding instructions.)
MEDICATIONS: If you are concerned about pain management before and after your pet’s procedure, please be assured that your pet will receive drugs both pre- and postoperatively to help with pain and anxiety. If your pet will be due for any medications during the day, please bring those medications to the morning check-in. Please discuss all medications that your pet is currently taking with Dr. Zacher. There are some medications that are necessary to continue at their usual given time, while some should be withheld prior to the procedure.
COMMUNICATION: We do our best to keep you updated on the day of your pet’s procedure. Typical phone calls include:
- Notification of any abnormal preoperative exam findings, including on bloodwork.
- Notification of start time of procedure, if possible.
- Notification of initial probing exam and dental X-ray findings, and any additional recommendations.
- Notification of your pet’s recovery from anesthesia and discussion of pick-up time.
- Addressing any other questions you may have throughout the day!
PROCEDURE TIME: Although we would love to be able to specify the time when your pet will have his/her procedure, we usually cannot guarantee a precise time because of the varying schedule of our day. The order of patients’ procedures is based first and foremost on medical need.
DISCHARGE: At the time of pick-up, you will receive detailed home care instructions (a.k.a. “discharge instructions” or “discharges”) explaining the type of care that your pet will require at home during recovery. A staff member will review these instructions with you and answer any questions you may have. Please allow at least 30 minutes for discharge, to check out and review instructions.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER: We ask that you (or someone you have designated to be responsible for your pet) be available by phone during the day of your pet’s dental procedure. Again, the doctor or staff will call you after the initial detailed oral/dental exam and dental radiographs to discuss the findings and to go over any additional recommendations. We will also call you once your pet’s procedure has finished and your pet is recovering from anesthesia to arrange a time for pick-up and to review home care instructions.
We are coming in for a consultation soon. What should we expect?
When you and your pet visit us, we first need to know some details about both of you (we require you to provide these ahead of time). Please See Check-In Forms > You will then meet with one of our team members who will gather any necessary further information. Due to the current COVID-19 protocols, the team member will then bring your pet into our building for the physical examination. Your pet will meet with Dr. Zacher who will review the information and examine your pet, paying particular attention to the oral cavity. The doctor will then be able to discuss the exam findings and potential treatment options. A customized treatment plan will be created for your pet and reviewed with you, including estimated cost. If this involves a procedure for your pet (most do), then the future procedure date can be scheduled at that time.
How much will treatment cost?
Without first having examined your pet, it is very difficult to predict the details of a potential treatment plan, and therefore very difficult to estimate cost. Once the doctor has examined your pet and created a treatment plan, we can provide you with a cost estimate for that plan. While we do our very best to create an accurate treatment plan and estimate, it can happen that additional problems can often be identified while the patient is anesthetized, after thorough oral diagnostics are performed (probing examination and dental X-rays). These will be communicated to you promptly and the best course of action discussed.
Can I schedule my consultation the same day as the procedure?
We believe that every patient deserves a detailed exam and evaluation, and every owner should be apprised of the oral examination findings and potential treatment plan, so that they may consider the best path forward for their family member. This means that consultations and procedures require separately scheduled appointments.
In general, consultations are scheduled on Mondays 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and procedures are scheduled on Tuesdays – Thursdays 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Does Best Friends Animal Dentistry accept pet insurance?
Best Friends Animal Dentistry is willing to work with all of the providers of standard pet insurance. We require payment from you, the pet owner/client, at the time of service. We advise that you contact your insurance company before your pet’s procedure to confirm your coverage for the intended treatment. We will happily provide you the documentation needed for you to receive reimbursement from your insurer.
Does Best Friends Animal Dentistry offer financing plans?
Best Friends Animal Dentistry requires payment at the time of service. We do work with CareCredit > to provide our clients an option for financial flexibility.
Who performs procedures at Best Friends Animal Dentistry?
Our procedures begin with dental radiographs, which are performed by a member of our team. Then, plaque and calculus are removed from the teeth by a trained veterinary technician/assistant with hand and/or ultrasonic scalers. The doctor also reviews the scaling to ensure that it has been performed thoroughly, and the teeth are polished. The doctor then performs a full oral examination, with periodontal probing, and findings for that patient are recorded in a dental chart.
Findings from the probing examination and the dental radiographs are combined to form a complete assessment and plan. If necessary, the doctor will review the findings and and any potential changes to the initial treatment plan with you.
Once a final plan is approved, the veterinarian will proceed with the indicated treatments for your pet.
Of note: At Best Friends Animal Dentistry, any oral treatment beyond dental scaling and polishing is performed by the veterinarian.
Once treatment is completed and the patient is recovering from anesthesia, your pet continues to be closely monitored by the team. Once recovery is complete, your pet will be discharged to you with detailed home care instructions.