In the past 5 years, the importance of veterinary dentistry has really come to light. One thing to consider is that most pets do not get their teeth brushed every day like we do, so build up accumulates on their teeth much faster. In smaller breed dogs and cats, the anatomy of their mouth is much smaller which causes build up to accumulate faster as well. Like with us, the build up can eventually become calcified and cause infection within the gums. Once this happens, if the issue is not addressed, the infection can spread to other areas of the body, like the heart. This is why we always make it a point to check our patient's teeth at every visit and recommend dental cleanings when necessary. Dental procedures do require sedation, but in most cases, are very routine procedures where your pet will be sent home same day.