Anesthesia-Free Pet Dentistry?

Animal Dental Center concurs with the recommendation of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Dental College and DOES NOT recommend the use of anesthesia-free dental care for pets.

The term anesthesia-free dental cleaning is misleading because it leaves the impression that after one of these procedures, your pet’s mouth is clean, healthy, and free of disease. Your pet’s teeth may appear whiter after a non-anesthetic dental cleaning but it does not mean your pet’s mouth is healthy. It is impossible to completely evaluate a dog or cat’s mouth without anesthesia. What you cannot see is actually more important than what you can see! Problems like plaque build-up below the gum line and gingivitis are not properly addressed during a non-anesthetic procedure that only scrapes the visible crowns of the teeth. Most oral disease happens below the gum line of your dog’s or cat’s mouth.

Non-professional, non-anesthetic dental scaling can potentially give pet owners a false sense of security about the state of their dog or cat’s oral health. Many older dogs and cats that have undergone anesthesia-free dental procedures for years develop significant dental and oral disease requiring multiple extractions as they age. 

Without anesthesia, some sort of physical restraint must be used on your dog or cat so that the provider can access the animal’s teeth. While some pets may tolerate this type of treatment, most pets will need to be restrained for a lengthy period of time with no ability to understand what is happening to them. Periodontal disease is common at any age. Areas of the mouth that have periodontal disease can be extremely sensitive leading to significant pain in an awake animal when those areas are cleaned.

During anesthesia-free dental care, the surfaces of your pet’s teeth are scaled with an instrument but not polished leaving microscopic grooves in the pet’s teeth and a rough surface prime for the adherence of more bacteria. This is definitely not healthy for your pet and can lead to even worse plaque and tartar formation. 

We hope you will call us for more information before you have your pet’s teeth cleaned without anesthesia. 

Get More Facts about Anesthesia Free-Dentistry

Why is Anesthesia Needed for Pet Dental Procedures?

Anesthesia immobilizes your dog or cat to insure their safety and cooperation during a procedure. It allows for a thorough exam of all the surfaces inside the mouth and the taking of x-rays. Anesthesia is needed for scaling below the gum line where periodontal disease is most active. Anesthesia also prevents your pet from feeling pain or anxiety during their procedure.

Why are Dental X-Rays Important to Treating Pet Dental Disease?

Ask yourself how healthy your mouth and teeth would be if your dentist did not routinely use x-ray technology to visualize the roots, gums and bone inside your mouth.

X-ray technology allows us to visualize the internal anatomy of your pet’s teeth along with the roots and surrounding bone. We are able to diagnose bone loss or hidden disease that may be present in the tooth roots and jawbone areas that may need advanced treatment. Dogs and cats will not cooperate when a radiographic sensor is placed in their mouth, so taking dental radiographs requires your cat or dog to be anesthetized.

Call (410) 828-1001 to make an appointment at any of our locations or click below to contact us.

Our doctors are Board Certified Veterinary Dentists™

The board-certified veterinary dentists at Animal Dental Center have the extensive knowledge, expertise, and specialized equipment to determine the extent and severity of your pet’s oral disease and to provide appropriate treatment. You will have peace of mind knowing your pet is receiving a professional dental cleaning, diagnosis through radiographs and treatment of periodontal disease and other oral pathology. This treatment, usually combined with at-home daily oral homecare will also help to prevent future oral disease.
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