The Truth About Anesthesia Free Pet Dentals
Anesthesia-Free Pet Dentals, Gentle Pet Dental Care, Holistic Dental Care for Your Pets…these seem to be all the rage in dental care for pets these days. But are they really all they are cracked up to be? The truth, no.
People and businesses offering this service are excellent at marketing. When you Google “anesthesia free dentals” you’ll find a plethora of information and websites touting how wonderful and effective this procedure is. Pet owners, beware. Do a little more research before scheduling an appointment with them.
Here are some facts:
- According to the law, veterinary medicine includes veterinary surgery, medicine and dentistry. Which means, anyone providing dental services for animals other than a licensed veterinarian, or a trained veterinary technician under the direct supervision of a veterinarian, is practicing veterinary medicine without a license and is subject to criminal charges. Groomers should not be offering or practicing dental scaling for dogs and cats.
- The American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) has issued a Position Statement discouraging non-anesthetic dental procedures stating that “non-professional dental scalings on unanesthetized pets is inappropriate…” Complete AVDC Position Statement: Companion Animal Dental Scaling Without Anesthesia (this report is short, concise and easy to read).
Dental scaling without anesthesia does not allow sufficient access to all surfaces of the teeth for comprehensive cleaning and evaluation. What does that mean and why is it important?
Basically, it means this; because the patient is not anesthetized they will move. This motion inhibits the technician (or whoever is preforming the procedure) from being able to thoroughly exam and clean all surfaces of the tooth, including below the gum line.
As you’ve learned from your dentist, tarter firmly adhere’s to the surface of the teeth, both above and below the gum line. The most important part of a dental cleaning is scaling the subgingival space between the gum and the root, where periodontal disease is active. This process is uncomfortable, and even painful, causing the patient to move and try to escape. This movement makes access to the subgingival area of each tooth impossible.
Removing tarter from visible surfaces of the tooth is purely cosmetic and has very little effect on the pet’s health. This procedure does more harm than good because it provides a false sense of security and accomplishment.
4 direct benefits of anesthesia
Routine anesthesia is very safe with a low rate of complication. Occasional problems can arise due to pre-existing conditions not evident during physical exam. You can prevent anesthetic complications with pre-anesthetic bloodwork.
Using anesthesia for a dental procedure is beneficial for four specific reasons:
- It eliminates the problem of the patient moving during the procedure.
- It manages the pain associated with proper examination and scaling.
- It protect the patient’s airway from accidental aspiration of tarter and bacteria.
- It allows for a complete and comprehensive oral exam (when the patient is not anesthetized, area’s of disease and discomfort are likely to be missed during exam).
At Aspen Grove, we believe that proper dental care for your pets is so important that we celebrate Pet Dental Health Month twice a year! In October and in February. This is an opportunity for pet owners to provide high quality dental for cats and dogs, and not break the bank doing it. It’s affordable pet dental care with 10% off basic dental cleanings and 50% off any necessary dental x-rays.