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What are anesthesia-free dentals?

Anesthesia free dental cleanings require your pet to be restrained while visible tartar is scraped with a sharp instrument. The truth is that anesthesia free dentals do not provide any benefit to your pet and they do not prevent periodontal disease at any level. Here’s what else they can and cannot do:

An anesthesia free dental CAN:

  • Cause pain and stress during restraint.
  • Result in serious injury to your pet’s teeth, gums, or mouth with even the slightest head movement.
  • Create a prime breeding ground for continued bacterial growth since the teeth surfaces are left with scrapes instead of a smooth, polished surface.
  • Allow your pet to inhale infection and debris that could lead to airway disease or pneumonia.
  • Give you a false sense of security because the teeth look whiter but are not healthier.

An anesthesia free dental CANNOT:

  • Provide a thorough oral exam including identifying painful problems such as broken teeth or oral tumors.
  • Clean beneath your pet’s gum line, where dental disease is most prominent.
  • Capture radiographs that are essential to the evaluation of your pet’s dental health.
  • Treat and save teeth before periodontal infection has progressed too far.
  • Remove teeth that are causing pain and infection in your pet’s mouth.

 

Here’s what some of the leaders in the veterinary industry have to say about dental procedures performed without anesthesia:

 

American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)

“Cleaning a companion animal’s teeth without general anesthesia is considered unacceptable and below the standard of care. Techniques such as necessary immobilization without discomfort, periodontal probing, intraoral radiology, and the removal of plaque and tartar above and below the gum line that ensure patient health and safety cannot be performed without general anesthesia.”

California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA)

“Performing anesthesia-free teeth cleaning using any instrument, device, or scaler is illegal unless the individual is licensed by the California Veterinary Medical Board.”

 

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)

“When procedures such as periodontal probing, intraoral radiography, dental scaling, and dental extraction are justified by the oral examination, they should be performed under anesthesia.”

American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC)

“Access to below the gum line, where disease is most prominent, is impossible in an unanesthetized canine or feline patient… Anesthesia with a cuffed endotracheal (ET) tube protects the patient from pain and inhaling infection and debris… A complete oral examination is not possible on an unanesthetized patient.”