Oral health is extremely important to your cat’s overall health and well being. Did you know that most cats need their first professional dental cleaning by the time they are 3 to 5 years old? This is one reason annual exams are so important for us to perform on your feline family member, as most owners are unaware of their cat's oral health. A routine dental cleaning usually takes about 30 minutes under general anesthesia and involves gentle removal of plaque and tartar with an ultrasonic scaler. The gums and teeth are then evaluated for signs of disease or decay once tartar has been removed. Next, the teeth are polished and treated with a fluoride application. Successive dental cleanings depend upon how quickly the individual accumulates tartar. This could be as often as yearly for some cats or every few years for other cats.